About a year ago, the pandemic changed everything. The Netherlands went into lockdown and all the office buildings emptied. Our COO Lesley Fockema Andreae was on high alert from the very first moment. Today we’re looking back on this past year with her. Not only at the challenges, but above all, at the resilience of our company and our product. Let's find out how she kept her head cool and our people happy, shall we?
“You can all go home now”
The day we heard that we had to start working from home, everything - to our surprise - went very smoothly. Within a day we were all working from home with a second screen and an ergonomic chair. Simply because Lesley’s priority has always been the people.
"You have to support the workforce in such a big change. It has always been my mission to make sure that everyone could continue to do their job to the best of their ability."
To be specific, this meant that from day one, everyone could equip their home offices by picking up furniture from our office. Later on, we made a budget available for everyone to optimize their home offices.
Taking care of employees’ well-being
Not only physical, but also mental well-being was essential during lockdown. So besides mental support, you need to ensure that people still feel involved. Let people feel the company culture, especially from home.
"Every single time we saw the opportunity to organize an engaging activity, we welcomed it with open arms. We always made sure that our colleagues had something fun to look forward to. Whether it was a surprise at their mailbox or a company presentation in two grand cinema halls, nothing was too crazy."
A resilient company culture
Although all companies draw up plans for possible disaster scenarios, this was an unprecedented situation. Nevertheless, everyone looked up to our COO Lesley. We admired how quickly she adapted to the new situation.
"I've never had any doubt about the resilience of our company or our product. Besides our employees, our customers started working from home too, so our product had to anticipate this trend. We saw a need to facilitate hybrid working by booking desks with Mapiq."
The rest is history.
No matter the situation, we never forgot to ask both our people and customers what they needed. And in the end, we had one answer for both.
Reopening our office
Slowly but surely, concrete plans are being made for the return to the office. Measures are being lifted and office spaces are ready to be filled again. Once again, this is a big change from last year.
" I don't foresee any major problems, just challenges, but that's a good thing."
After all, we have created a product that can guide us back to the office.
"You can literally hand over the entire return to the office process to Office Shifts, who wouldn’t want that?"
Shaping the future of work
Times like these shape your company and its culture. The focus on employee well-being and the unwavering trust in the team made sure that our drive and enthusiasm never faltered. This mentality is the basis of our philosophy. And the pandemic proved that it simply works.
Are you interested in building workplaces that focus on collaboration, flexibility, and employee well-being? We’re always happy to help. Our smart office advisors are just a virtual coffee away.