Scared of moving abroad with your family? These companies will make it easy for you
If you ever thought you couldn’t move abroad with your family, think again! We talked to three companies in three different countries who are eager to help families relocate around the world.
See how their work cultures embrace more than just work.
Austria was recently named the #1 best place to raise a family for expats. This is not surprising, if you take a look at some of the governmental policies for families in the country:
- Maternity leave: 16 weeks (8 weeks prior, 8 weeks after birth), plus women are legally allowed to stay at home for up to 2 years without getting fired — they have the right to return to the company after 2 years
- Financial compensation from the state during the maternity leave: the period depends on the duration (the duration can also be prolonged if the fathers choose paternity leave)
- Family allowance until the child has turned 26 (or rather until they start earning their own money)
- Public daycare from an early age (1–1,5 yrs); free in Upper Austria once the child has turned 2.5 yrs
- Free public education/schooling
- Public playgrounds, many green areas, numerous (subsidized) out- and indoor free-time activities
- Safety: Austria has an extremely low crime rate — it is safe for kids to play outside basically everywhere
- Reduced fees for kids in all cultural activities, free entrance/public transport usually until the age of 6
So we asked Monika from HR — who is also a mother of two — about Runtastic’s work culture, how it helps those with families… and whether Austria really is the best place to raise kids.
How does Runtastic help with the logistics of managing time with your kids?
Monika: We currently have around 25+ Runtastic kids (and a few more on the way). We are openly addressing the “career-family-balance” since the majority of our employees are between 25 and 35 years old and in the best age to found a family of their own. This means that the tolerance in regards of family emergencies or events is very high, nobody has to fear looks or misunderstandings if they have to juggle the family (and put work aside).
In general, we have extremely flexible working hours, and home office is possible (I for example have one fixed home office day per week), especially in family emergencies. Numerous positions are both filled full- as well as part-time in order to make it easier for existing employees to juggle their family life and make us an attractive workplace for people returning from their maternity/paternity leave.
We support our parents throughout their paternity/maternity leave, keep them up-to-date and make sure they are fully integrated and back on track once returned. One of our management team members was on paternity leave for more than 6 months (only working four hours per week during that time) and returned into an even higher position with full support from the team and the C-Level.
Whenever a Runtastic has a baby, they receive presents and cards— as a symbol that we fully support and celebrate the birth of a new Runtastic.
We have already organized the Runtastic Play Day in Fall 2015 (it will be repeated soon): the company sponsored a day at a fancy indoor playground for all Runtastic parents and their kids/partners including the fee and food and beverages.
What makes Linz a good place for families?
Monika: It’s green — parks and recreation everywhere, near the Danube; the Alps/lakes are not even a one-hour drive away. There are numerous cultural activities, theaters for kids, family events. It is centrally located in Austria/Europe: weekend trip destinations are only a few hours away.
It’s not too big (as opposed to Vienna), and within the city center everything is accessibly by foot. It’s international: people speak English and we have international schools for international families.
What do you think is the most important thing for families when they consider taking a job at a company?
Monika: Flexible working hours and flexible place of work. Integration of the partners: they need to socially integrate as well, find a job or access to society, learn the language — we help our internationals in moving, we organize events to which partners are welcomed, we provide information, we would even hire partners if we have a suitable spot.
Support during the relocation process, provide housing as well as support during the visa application (it’s important and we do it).
Here are some opportunities to work with Runtastic and move to beautiful Linz!
From their HQ in Budapest, Prezi specializes in making beautiful presentations. We caught up with Laszlo there, who has 2 kids of his own, to ask what it’s like to live with his family in the city nicknamed “the heart of Europe.”
What are some perks Prezi provides for families?
Laszlo: We have two kids, both under 3. Our daughter goes to the subsidized daycare at Prezi and our younger son will probably start going later this year. Obviously having the daycare on-site is a huge help for anyone at Prezi with small children. It saves us time in the morning when I drop her off on my way to work, and it saves us the hassle of finding and enrolling her in a private Hungarian daycare.
The other thing at Prezi which really helps managing a family is the flexible attitude of the company policies. We have flexible work hours and unlimited vacation days, as many other tech companies do, but Prezi also allows families and friends to come to the on-site restaurant with employees during lunch. And when there are workshops or parties in the office they are welcome to join as well. This is especially important for foreigners who need to help their families get comfortable with the new company and the new city. Often my wife comes by to have lunch and feed the baby before running her errands in the afternoon.
What makes Budapest a good place for families?
Laszlo: Budapest has everything you would expect in a multicultural European capital. We enjoy the festivals, restaurants, cafes, bars and parks. Each city has its own character and we really like Budapest’s low-key, calm atmosphere. The city is not crowded and doesn’t give you the bustling rat race feeling of larger places.
Every family is different and the best place to raise your kids depends a lot on your personal preferences. We have found that Budapest supports our parenting style well. For us, the ease of getting around and the calm atmosphere helps us be spontaneous and take our children to events and places that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.
We really enjoy that Budapest is a very compact and walkable city. The small downtown and the availability of public transit makes it much easy to navigate and saves us tons of time in our daily life. For example, it takes me 25 minutes to get from our apartment to Prezi even with our kids in the stroller. When I’m on my bike it’s even quicker.
A large part of this is because there is lots of housing available in the city, and so living downtown is quite affordable. We are able to live in a walkable neighborhood, close to everything we need, without compromising much on the quality or size of our apartment.
What do you think is the most important thing for families when they consider taking a job at a company, and how does Prezi help them make the decision?
Laszlo: The most important thing to consider is: will your family be supported in their transition so that the challenge of moving will not take away from the critical first few months of your new job?
Prezi so far has been very flexible and responsive to the challenges their international employees with family have faced. There is a standard relocation package for employees coming from outside of Hungary which includes:
- a hotel stay while searching for an apartment
- a real estate agent to help you find an apartment
- an allowance for shipment of household things.
Personally for us the more important part was that Prezi has always given time to understand our problems, and has usually offered pretty generous solutions even if it was not in the standard relocation policy.
If you want to experience living in Budapest, check out these current opportunities with Prezi.
Penang, also known as the food haven of Malaysia, is full of natural beauty and warm weather. So we were curious to hear from Shen Dee, Chao and May Syn at Piktochart about their family lives on the island.
What makes Penang a good place to be for families?
Shen Dee: I’ll bring them to the parks (Youth Park or Botanical Garden), Feringghi beach for sand play or visit the shopping malls. On Sundays on Beach street from 7am to 1pm, the streets are temporarily closed to automobile traffic (car free day). We’ll sometimes rent bicycles or take the trishaw exploring the little streets/lanes in Georgetown. It’s really fun and the kids enjoy it!
Chao: I visit malls, parks, relatives’ houses, sometimes the office! Penang is a good place because it’s mostly baby-friendly (e.g. malls), and having services like Uber makes our trips more convenient (don’t have to find parking). There are plenty of other parents with children in the community also, which is helpful.
What do you think is the most important consideration for employees with families, and how does Piktochart help with that?
Chao: Being flexible with work timing to accommodate for unexpected events, provide baby-friendly facilities (e.g. changing room, feeding room).
May Syn: Flexibility in working hours, being breastfeeding-friendly (nursing room is the best!) and allowing family to join company activities — so our family can know our fellow colleagues.
Shen Dee: Providing a flexible working arrangement is really important for working parents to have a peace of mind knowing that at anytime, they can attend to their children’s emergencies. I enjoy working from home every Friday because that would mean I get to greet my children when they’re back from school. Providing a nursing room as we do is helpful for breastfeeding mothers. Allowing our children to come into the office helps to bond our family with our teammates.
For employees coming from abroad, we arrange and apply for their working visa. We also provide a relocation package to help families get settled into their new home here in Penang.
Family-friendly policies at Piktochart
Intrigued? See how you can join Piktochart.