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Combining work with volunteering for a more dynamic life

Many of our employees are making important contributions to their communities through volunteer work. Meet Sander, who combines his job as a Solution Consultant with volunteering at his local fire station.

Sander Houtveen in front of a fire truck in his fire fighter uniform

Sander Houtveen started in Visma Raet 12 years ago as a Solution Consultant in Amersfoort in the Netherlands. Visma Raet develops HR software in the cloud and offers a range of HR software and services.

“I believe I have one of the most interesting positions at the company. Working in the cross-section between sales and product development, I am right in the middle of where everything happens and involved in most parts of the business,” says Sander.

He believes it is essential for companies to give their employees the freedom and trust to do what they are passionate about.

“It is really cool that Visma focuses on the reason behind what we do, not just the products and the business end of things. They also place importance on the people who do it,” he continues.

Also read, Employee engagement is key to positive social impact at Visma Raet

Combining work and volunteering

At Visma Raet, employees are given time off for volunteering, and they stimulate managers and teams to give back by doing volunteer work on their team day. They also have a ‘Helping Hands program’ where employees can request €250 for initiatives or events that support their local community.

Sander started working as a volunteer at his local fire station in Amersfoort 15 years ago. When he began in Visma Raet, he continued to keep up his volunteering job.

“It is a great combination. At Visma, I get to work with strategy, analysing different information and scenarios to make a good decision for our customers,” he explains. “But at the fire station, we have a situation, and we need to take action immediately.”

Since most emergencies happen at home, most of Sander’s volunteering occurs during his personal time. But he is open about the fact that it can take its toll. 

“Visma | Raet is very flexible and supportive of my volunteering, but it is not always easy combining the two. You have to find a good balance; at the end of your day, you still have a job to do and targets that you need to fulfil,” he says. 

Workdays out of the ordinary

Sander is also part of the first-response team at his office, which he enjoys. Typically, civilians who work in these teams have no professional or medical training. But since Sander does these things regularly, Visma Raet can benefit from his experience.

Sander remembers an incident a while back. He was in the middle of evaluating a tender in a meeting when he suddenly got paged for an incident around the corner from his office.

“I had to run out of the meeting and help a person who had a heart attack. Fortunately, the person survived, and I was back at the office within half an hour. It is surreal, but that is what a day could look like for me, Sander explains.

Another day, he was called to an incident during the night and showed up to work wearing two different shoes. 

“Even if I don’t have a perfect day at work, I get something from volunteering and helping out, and that dynamic is what keeps me motivated,” Sander says.

In case you missed it: Find out more about volunteering at Visma 

Making life more dynamic

Sander believes his volunteer job makes him better at solving problems in other aspects of his life, such as work. For him, it is necessary to look at things from a clear point of view; there is no room for panic.

“While I enjoy work that involves a lot of thinking, I was looking for something more practical and doing something good for the community,” he continues.

For people interested in helping out in their communities, Sander suggests doing something you are passionate about. 

“If you do something you really love, people will see it. My family is happy when I am happy, and I have their full support, which is the most important thing to me. When people see a passionate person doing what they love, it makes an impact.”

Learn more about life at Visma and check out our open positions on our careers page.

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