Summer Sabbaticals

At Steps, staff are offered a period of paid leave after working a certain number of years. Some learn a language, take a creative course or redecorate their homes. But more often than not, most will pack up and take to the road… which is exactly what Simon and Elizabeth both did on their respective sabbaticals this summer.

Simon’s time off saw him travelling across Europe with his family in their converted Renault Traffic, spending some ‘alone time’ walking the Pennine Way, finishing a novel he’d been working on for his children before helping his local community with manual jobs - such as cutting trees for neighbours and refitting a local charity shop front.


“Sabbaticals help you remind yourself of who you are outside of work”, says Simon. “I am trying hard to hold on to the resolutions I made during my time away, like not checking my phone for emails morning, noon and night. My bedroom is now a phone-free zone, which means I’m now doing a lot more reading”. Being away from work made Simon appreciate the value of trusting colleagues with his projects. “It wasn’t hard to do because Steps is bigger than the individuals within it. I’m now back at work with verve and energy.”

Meanwhile, Elizabeth and her husband put their new tent to the test and visited family in Norfolk and Suffolk before attending a three day music festival, where she took part in a creative writing workshop. They then enjoyed a picturesque glamping experience in France.


“It was total luxury having time out with no work or other external distractions, and it was particularly precious to spend so much time with my husband”, says Elizabeth. “That time really blew away the cobwebs and I came back to work much more relaxed than before I had gone away, feeling refreshed and energised.”

As Simon and Elizabeth settle back into the Steps fold, Robbie has taken the baton and is currently enjoying an autumn sabbatical. We look forward to hearing all about his adventures, of which we’re sure there will be many, when he returns.

Published November 2015


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