IT Center Blog

Family-Friendliness At The IT Center

April 25th, 2023 | by

Source: Own illustration

Once again this year, RWTH Aachen University has awarded the “Famos for Family” prize to family-friendly heads of an organizational unit. The prize is endowed with 500 euros and honors heads of facilities and teams at RWTH Aachen University who are committed to a family-friendly work-life balance. We are delighted and congratulate our IT Center Director, Professor Matthias Müller, for receiving this award this year.

Improving the work-life balance is becoming increasingly important in everyday working life and plays an ever greater role these days. As a family-friendly university certified by the berufundfamilie Service GmbH Board of Trustees, RWTH Aachen University is particularly concerned that employees are able to master the balancing act between family and career in the best possible way. This begins with the implementation of appropriate family-friendly personnel work in the individual facilities and institutes. RWTH Aachen University honors the corresponding commitment to family friendliness with the “Famos for Family” award.

In recent months, all employees of RWTH Aachen University were called upon to submit suggestions for the “Famos for Family” award in order to honor leaders and teams that demonstrate a high degree of family-friendliness and make it clear that they actively promote the compatibility of family and career.

The experiences experienced and formulated by colleagues at the IT Center – some of them very personal – led to the famos nomination of Professor Matthias Müller.

Prof. Dr. Matthias S. Mueller
Director IT Center
Source: Own illustration

“I am very grateful and proud to receive this award this year, especially knowing that it actually comes from my employees”

says Professor Müller with a smile.

At the same time, he makes it clear that it is not all his doing. The ideas and constructive implementations initially take place at management levels, but are ultimately borne by the entire IT Center team. And so it is fitting that Daniel Bündgens, as his managing director and representative, accepts the award in his stead.

Dipl.-Math. Daniel Bündgens,
Managing Director of the IT Center receives the ‘Famos for Family’ award on behalf of the company (from left to right: Ramona Legrand, Daniel Bündgens, Thomas Trännapp)
Source: Own illustration

It is therefore also a matter of course for Professor Müller that the 500 euros in prize money will be reinvested in the further expansion of the family-friendliness of the IT Center. There are already many ideas for this, but now it’s time to celebrate!

Of course, we would also like to congratulate the other winners of this year’s award:

Martin Wiesmann, MD (Faculty 10, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology).
Dr. Anke Naujokat (Faculty 2, Chair of Architectural History)
Dr. Niklas von der Aßen (Faculty 4, Chair of Technical Thermodynamics and Institute of Thermodynamics)
Dr. Sonja Herres-Pawlis (Faculty 1, Chair & Institute of Inorganic Chemistry)
The management team of the Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering consisting of Prof. Dr. Verena Nitsch, apl. Prof. Dr. Susanne Mütze-Niewöhner, apl. Prof. Dr. Martin Frenz and apl. Prof. Dr. Alexander Mertens (Faculty 4, Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering)

What makes the IT Center such a great place to work?

At the IT Center, there is a fundamentally good climate for family-friendly solutions, so that work does not conflict with private life. This means that it is possible to define your own requirements, discuss them constructively and implement them without any career disadvantages. In foreseeably difficult situations, employees are approached and a solution is sought together. In the case of unforeseeable events, stress is not increased by demands, but is responded to with confidence that the best possible solution will be found.

Young families in particular appreciate this: In principle, the IT Center encourages and supports young mothers, as well as fathers, in taking advantage of their parental leave, and a return to part-time work is never negatively questioned. Parents are shown understanding for the family situation from all sides, be it when children are sick, school appointments are pending, or smaller children jump through the hoops in the official online meeting and want to have their say. But even if vacation is suddenly necessary, home office days have to be rescheduled, or attendance appointments cannot be kept in order to care for relatives, employees experience unrestricted support.

Thanks to flexible scheduling, employees have always been able to coordinate family and work at the IT Center without either suffering. In addition, the flexible home-office arrangements and situational mobile working days (SmA) enable immediate family members living far away from Aachen to visit and work from there even outside of vacation. In this way, maintaining a more intensive connection with one’s own family is possible.

But family-friendliness also includes the integration of the family into working life.

This is achieved, for example, with the festivities at the IT Center, to which employees’ partners and children are explicitly invited and included in the program.

The entire atmosphere and mentality at the IT Center, across all hierarchical levels, is therefore very open-minded and supportive of family challenges. This includes the Corona pandemic. During this particular time, employees and their health, as well as that of their families, were always at the forefront.

All of this is taken completely for granted – across all hierarchical levels. For example, department heads, together with group heads, are able to flexibly and autonomously implement the basic attitude of Professor Müller and Mr. Bündgens on the subject of family in the department and react accordingly to the various joyful and stressful situations of the employees. But the staff also supports the decisions and absorbs a lot.

In sum, the (management) team of the IT Center is thus characterized by stability, calmness and composure, trust and understanding.


Responsible for the content of this article are  Dunja Gath, Linda Jörres and Tanja Wittpoth-Richter.

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