Work-(Self-)Care Reconciliation

All university members have to juggle many different aspects of their life together every day. That is, they have to reconcile them. This balancing act is not always easy. There are stages of life that are more challenging than others. There are life paths that contain less hurdles and more social privileges than others. As one of the biggest employers in Vienna, the University of Vienna takes its social responsibility seriously to also consider its employees' care work and self care, and to make overlaps easier.

New offer regarding reconciliation

Regular online get-together for people with care responsibilities

A monthly online get-together offers carers/caregiving relatives support and is facilitated by psychologist Christiane Miksch (specialising in geronpsychology, also a coach, supervisor and life and social counsellor). Participants are provided with a confidential space for professional counselling and a moderated exchange of experiences.

The get-together is open to all employees and is free of charge. It is possible to attend multiple times. It will be held in German.

Next get-together: Tuesday, June 11, 2024, from 6.30 to 7.30 pm

More information about registration and further dates can be found on the flyer (German).

An initiative of the University of Vienna in co-operation with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the Medical University of Vienna, the Vienna University of Technology, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Reconciliation-friendly leadership in a hybrid work environment

In December 2023 and January 2024, the Culture and Equality unit conducted focus groups on the topic of reconciliation-friendly leadership in a hybrid work environment. The results will be incorporated into recommendations for executive staff and other measures relating to work-life reconciliation.

If you would like to share your personal experiences and suggestions on the topic of "work-life balance-friendly leadership", please contact us at


A question of organisation?

In the publication "A question of organisation? - Data and analyses on the reconciliation of employment/studying with caring for others and oneself" you can find the University of Vienna's concept explained in detail and supplemented with numbers on the employees and students of the Univeristy of Vienna. Finally, fields were measures should be taken are identified. The full publication is only available in German, but there is an Executive Summary in English. 


Work - Care - Wellbeing Days 2022

A family friendly career in academia - is that possible? What conditions are necessary to stay healthy when working flexibly and digitally? How can team leaders support their teams when somebody is strained by care responsibilities? During the Work - Care - Wellbeing Days, there was an extensive programme on these topics with talks and discussions with employees and experts.

Parts of this (German-language) event were recorded. The recordings can be watched and listened to here.

The path to a university that is aware of reconciliation issues can not be walked in a day. Cultural change in our heads and our actions is necessary. Supporting reconciliability as a ressource for motivation and satisfaction at work is an important aspect of leadership. Executives shape the cultural conditions in an organisation that make reconciliation possible. In ideal cases, they are role models themselves for lived reconcilability and change the culture themselves, too.


What is care work?

In private life, care work is a large (unpaid) part in the life of all people. We differentiate between direct care work for other people in our families or our social proxmity - especially taking care of children or caring for relatives - and supportive care work - taking care of the household (food shopping, cooking, cleaning, tidying etc.) or voluntary (community) work.

What is self care?

On the one hand, self care means aspects of life and space in private life for oneself (like hobbies, sport, social contacts, religion/spirituality or education). On the other hand, working conditions are also essential for it. Self care is a decisive factor for remaining mentally and physically healthy and content with life.

The University of Vienna wants to facilitate the reconciliation of the overlap between gainful employment - care work and gainful employment - self care.


Image by Marion Wotruba:

Gainful employment, care work and self care are aspects of life that take place in a social and academic context. Those contexts influence how reconiliation is and can be lived at the University of Vienna.



Society or the social context shapes how gainful employment, care work and self care is distributed - between genders but also between other dimensions of diversity, like people with or without migration biographies. Who bears the brunt of unpaid care work? To whom is (badly) paid care work outsourced so that people can be gainfully employed themselves? Who can afford the personal spaces for self care because gainful employment and self care do not dominate everything? This social distribution has grown over time and is rife with inequalities.

Scientific Community

The scientific community is a sector with its own written and unwritten rules that have a big influence on academics' reconcilability. Research and teaching are often less seen as "jobs" and rather as "callings". Those who live for science put a lot of weight on gainful employment. The special working conditions and requirements, e.g. mobility, also mean less personal freedom for care work and self care. Even though many researchers are willing to give their work high priority, and that is a great value of the academia as a field of employment, it should become more open and inclusive for career paths that also enable care work and self care.