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Hybrid working at VU Amsterdam

Last updated on 7 February 2022
VU Amsterdam will continue facilitating working from home in combination with working on campus in a hybrid form of working.

We have discovered the benefits of working from home, such as less travel time and more flexibility. We have also learned which aspects of our work require the campus setting, such as meeting and developing solidarity with colleagues. 

VU Amsterdam will therefore continue facilitating working from home in combination with working on campus. This hybrid form of working will support employees even better in choosing a suitable and pleasant workplace. Furthermore, hybrid working will make our organisation more sustainable and we will be able to make smarter use of the available space on campus. 

Watch the animation that explains how we are going to tackle hybrid working together.

We also recommend that you watch the video in which Marcel Nollen of the Executive Board explains where we stand on hybrid working and outlines our vision for the future.

More about hybrid working at VU Amsterdam

  • Talking about hybrid working

    We do not yet know exactly what form hybrid working at VU Amsterdam will take and we will be experimenting with various forms in the coming period. You and your colleagues will discuss with your supervisor what form of hybrid working to apply. This will depend on the type of work you do, your own preferences and how your team cooperates, among others. You can read the following documents before you meet with your supervisor and your team. The guideline hybrid working has been extended to June 1, 2023. 

  • Hybrid meetings

    The move towards hybrid working also entails a new meeting variant – hybrid conferencing, in which some participants are on campus and others are online. This calls for appropriate facilities, such as rooms that are suitable for hybrid conferencing.

    In the months to come, new hybrid conferencing rooms will be created, starting at the Transitorium, followed by the Main Building, MF, and O2. These new conferencing rooms will be equipped with a Logitech Tap, which is a system for connecting smart cameras, microphones, and speakers with just one click (or ‘tap’) and where every participant is clearly visible and easy to understand.

    If you would like to make a reservation for a hybrid conferencing room, just go to Outlook and select a meeting room from the list of locations with the word ‘hybrid’ in the name of the room. Please note! The Forum rooms in the main building and the Salutem rooms in MF can only be booked via the Self Service Portal.

    See the user manual and instruction film for more information on reserving (via outlook) and using the hybrid conferencing rooms.

     Here are some hybrid-conferencing tips.

    • Use a room where you can meet in peace, and without disturbing anyone else. Videoconferencing or conferencing using phones does not work from a normal office desktop. Reserve a conferencing room or walk to a phone booth or another quiet location.
    • The use of laptops during hybrid conferencing in a hybrid conferencing room is optional. The equipment in the rooms is sufficient for meetings where you only wish to hear and see each other. You will have to connect a laptop if you wish to share files or screens during a meeting.

    Find out more about hybrid conferencing:

    1. Manual on reserving (via outlook) and using hybrid conferencing rooms
    2. Logitech Tap instructional video (in Dutch)
    3. Note on hybrid conferencing
    4. The Quick Reference Card with information and tips on meeting formats and setups.
    5. Tips, points of attention and experiences
    6. Overview hybrid meeting rooms

    Efforts on optimising hybrid working and conferencing are still in a phase of rapid development. If you have any questions, tips, or experiences relating to hybrid conferencing that you would like to share, please e-mail them to  hybride.werken.hrmam@vu.nl.

  • Workplace at home and on campus

    Hybrid working also affects the use of space on campus. We will share workplaces more to make smarter use of the available space. Where necessary, the physical working environment will be adapted to support hybrid working. This will take time and require careful coordination. When you work at home, it is important to set up your home office in such a way that you can work safely and comfortably.

  • Working together and staying connected

    You will meet your colleagues on campus less regularly in a hybrid working situation. So how can you keep up with what’s going on? How can you collaborate online? What are smart ways to share information? How can you avoid an overflowing mailbox? Here are a few tips to begin with:

  • Managing hybrid teams

    Managing staff who work partly at home and partly on campus requires new skills of supervisors. How do you keep track of performance and well-being and how do you ensure social cohesion in your team? You can find tips here: 

  • Course Hybrid working

    Hybrid working is not only revolutionizing our work environment, but also presents several challenges. To help you in this transition, VU Learning & Development (HR & HSE) offers training courses in which various questions regarding hybrid work are explored. 

    Team booster Hybrid working: the best approach for your team (Lighthouse Learning)

    This training will help your team grow in their agility and adaptability, which are required for a hybrid work form. How do you work well as a team if employees are not often physically together? How do you ensure strong connections between team members and that there is solidarity, enthusiasm, safety and continuity? These and other topics will be discussed, tailored specifically to the needs of the team. After this team booster the team members can take the next step in their development together with their manager.

    The meeting is tailor-made on the basis of a questionnaire, inspired by the pyramid of Patrick Lencioni (a practical tool for team development) that is completed individually before the session. Based on the results, the trainer will analyse the team ('team barometer') and will provide a number of quick wins and tips, and concrete practical advice for the first steps of this journey. 

    During this training, the team will gain insight into the critical success factors and bottlenecks of hybrid (co-)working, such as better communication, self-leadership and team spirit. You will learn how you can make a difference together and take team performance to a higher level in a hybrid way.

    For whom?
    This training is suitable for teams including managers who would like to be supported in the transition to hybrid working.

    Practical information
    Participation is subject to costs.
    This offer is suitable for a team of 10-12 people.
    Duration: 1 meeting of 1.5 hours.
    After the team has registered, the trainer will be in touch to plan the meeting.

    About the trainers
    The training is given by the trainers of Lighthouse Learning, an agency for learning and development. They have expertise in leadership, personal efficiency and (team) development and have a lot of experience in the university world. With backgrounds in science, psychology and art, they design creative learning experiences for organizations and teams.
    Joris Leijtens is a trainer and coach who started his career in theatre. Joris provides training at various universities in the fields of communication, leadership, management, personal effectiveness and team development.
    Maaike Wesseling is a coach and trainer in the field of leadership, communication, personal effectiveness and sustainable employability. Maaike has a background in science and a lot of experience in the academic world.
    Anita Montolalu is a team coach and facilitator. Her expertise is raising awareness of team dynamics and behavioural patterns within a team.

    Registration and contact details
    Please register here for the Team booster Hybrid working.

  • Other sources of information on hybrid working

  • Best practices

    Read the interviews with VU employees about their experiences with hybrid working:

    And listen to the podcast with Ella Hafermalz.
    Ella Hafermalz is associate professor at the KIN Center for Digital Innovation at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her PhD research was about remote working. Ella discusses what we can learn from her research and what the advantages and  challenges are of hybrid working. She also points out the benefits of thinking, talking and experimenting with each other to arrive at a hybrid work form that suits the organisation.