As part of Net Atlantic’s goal to promote a healthy work/life balance for our employees, we have a unique sabbatical program.

What’s a sabbatical? Well, once an employee has been with us for 7 years, they are able to take three months off to travel, focus on creative projects, take classes, volunteer, or use the time in whatever way will best help them restore their energy and refresh their perspective.

“It’s wonderful to work for a company that offers a sabbatical after seven years of employment,” said Ruthie Larivee, Net Atlantic’s HR Manager. “Net Atlantic recognizes that someone who has devoted that many years to a company deserves a chance to go on an extended vacation, volunteer their time elsewhere, or simply recharge. Employees welcome and appreciate the opportunity, and often return with new ideas and energy that everyone can benefit from. It’s a win-win!”

This year, Net Atlantic Technical Engineer, Anthony Z. Monti (or Professor Awesome, as we like to call him), took his sabbatical from April – July. Here’s what he did with his time.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I started my sabbatical,” Anthony said. “For the first couple of weeks, I kept thinking about work, and found myself expecting a phone call or email to come any minute. But once I realized that wasn’t going to happen, I started focusing on how I wanted to use my time.”

Anthony, who already enjoyed taking daily walks around the lake near his home, decided to increase the length and intensity of his walks. Before long, he started pushing himself to run part of the route. He discovered that he really enjoyed running – even if it was challenging at first – and gradually increased his running time and distance each day.

“If I don’t enjoy something, I’m never going to do it,” said Anthony. “And I surprised myself by discovering that I actually like to run!”

His ultimate goal is to run the entire route – the equivalent of a 5K – on a regular basis. Now that he’s back at work, fitting a daily run/walk into his schedule is more challenging, but the enthusiasm he has developed for running motivates him to make it a priority.

In addition to all that exercise, Anthony used his time off to take music lessons and do a lot of cooking – something he is very passionate about. He even has his own cooking website called “Grubdude”, which he calls “MadTV meets The Food Network”.

When he wasn’t running, cooking or playing guitar, Anthony was researching purchasing a new home, attending lots of open house events, and touring several houses on the market. He also managed to make time for some fun road trips with friends, visiting places like the Bronx Botanical Gardens in New York.

“After two weeks of pretending to be on vacation, I figured I’d better get it together, because an opportunity like this comes only once – if you are fortunate enough,” Anthony said.

“I’m glad I took my sabbatical, because it gave me a chance to put into motion things that will better my health and my life overall. I would encourage anyone who qualifies for a sabbatical to consider taking it. You will come back a changed person, in ways you did not think were possible.“

For more information about Net Atlantic’s Sabbatical Program, check out our website.