Office Manager Megan hit the ground running when she joined our Amsterdam team early last year. She explains how she got up to speed in record time – and what exactly an Office Manager does when everyone is working from home.
At the start of 2020 I was working for VanMoof’s sister company Dutchband as an account manager. But, then of course the coronavirus happened, and all our events got cancelled. I worked from home for a few weeks, until I heard VanMoof was looking for an Office Manager. It was pretty straightforward to transfer into the new role, and there was a lot of work to take on right away. Shifting gears like that is a big challenge, but it was a great opportunity to dive in and learn from a new team.
I didn't train or study to be an office manager, I just rolled into it. But I think that kind of perspective can be a good thing, you see everything with fresh eyes. I guess you just need to have organisational skills and be able to switch very fast between tasks, and make sure you don’t forget things. The coronavirus situation has completely rewritten the office rules anyway. Nowadays I spend just as much time making sure our teams are safe and comfortable working from home as I do organizing and scheduling things in the office.
Right from the start of the pandemic, the People team wanted to give all employees everything they need to work from home. Whether that’s a new desk or screens and a keyboard, we’ll send them to you wherever you are. Everyone’s home is completely different, so we’ve been speaking to everyone individually and seeing what we can do to help them do the best job possible.
It's cool working in the People team because you're not really part of a single department. You’re connected to every team within VanMoof, and you get to help people from all over the company. It’s a bit cliché, but no two days are the same – you’re constantly on your toes and thinking of creative solutions to make work better for everyone.
We’ve grown a lot in the last year, and I know how strange it feels to join a company and not meet your colleagues – I’m new here too! To make up for it, we’ve been running a lot of initiatives to make people feel welcome and help everyone get to know each other. Recently we partnered with some independent coffee places around time, and gave team members vouchers so they could go on ‘coffee dates’ with each other. It’s just a little thing, but these little things add up to make you feel much more at home.
Even though hardly anyone’s in the office, we’re still continuing with our VanMoof Talks series… but virtually of course. Every few weeks, we invite a new guest speaker to give a presentation on a particular subject – for example, we had Dr. Iskander Smit talking about ‘The Future of Mobility’, which was super inspiring for us as a company. Sometimes you can get stuck working and thinking in the same patterns, so it’s always great to get a perspective from outside your immediate bubble.
I know my job is going to change pretty radically when this pandemic is over and people start coming back to the office full time. It’s going to be a challenge to fit everyone inside after the teams have all grown so much, but we’re already working on solutions. Right now we’re focusing on our internal structures and processes, so we can streamline things when they go back to ‘normal’. And who knows, maybe we’ll have to find a new office pretty soon! Either way, it’s going to be an exciting ride.
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