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Inside VanMoof

Staying connected: Riding the future, under quarantine

Staying connected: Riding the future, under quarantine

Over the past few weeks, the world as we knew it changed. And we’re all still adjusting to this new reality. Our head office in Amsterdam, usually packed with people, is now almost empty, with most of us switching to home-working overnight. We also closed all of our international brand stores – now only reopening for VanMoof S3 & X3 test rides. Safe and reliable transportation is more important than ever, and we’re operating with minimum Bike Doctors and warehouse staff to protect our communities and keep the world riding.

Communication is key

But how do we stay on track with our mission while adjusting to this new way of working? With social distancing in place everywhere, there’s much more to bridge than the literal gap between us. We had to make the switch from working in two main offices and eight brand stores, to over 100 home offices.

How do we do that? Well, Slack is our biggest friend for all daily communications. We try to structure each day to ensure continuity by starting and ending the day together, focusing on all of our to-do’s and then executing them. We’re still holding our company-wide standups every Tuesday through ZOOM. And we’re using Slite more than ever, as a central repository for all the information teams need to share and collaborate with. Because we’re active across all the world, the situation is still evolving day by day – but having this centralized structure really helps in keeping all teams aligned.

We also make sure to see the silver linings in everything. People from across the company are helping each other and checking in more often to see how everyone’s doing. Even though we’re not working in the same space, VanMoof feels more like a team than ever before. We’re now virtually sharing each other’s homes and getting to know everyone even better, from meeting their kids and pets, to seeing their home decoration skills (or lack thereof).

Taking care in the new way of working

We couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s adaptability to this new way of working. Everybody has set up their own cosy home office, boosting productivity as the weeks go on. Our teams in our warehouses are getting used to working under strict safety guidelines, still working extremely hard and doing everything possible to stay operational. And our Bike Doctors are still standing by to help our riders where possible.

To show our appreciation, we shipped a VanMoof Survival Box to all team members across the globe, containing some much-needed supplies, and a lot of confetti (just for the hell of it). We also provided our warehouse teams with dinner vouchers, and in the US we arranged Wholefoods delivery packages. Naturally, we still take responsibility for paying all staff, including those who currently can’t work due to the virus.

Keep the fun

Of course, we know that we’re very lucky. The nature of our business means that COVID-19 hasn’t disrupted our operations as much as it has some industries. Wherever possible, we try to remind ourselves of this, and keep the fun alive. It’s in the little things that keep our spirits up, and keep focusing on our mission. Our Friday drinks are still a company institution, even if they can sometimes present a bit of a logistical challenge – ever tried talking on a video call with 100+ people?!

Happy riding

Even in these surreal times, you have to stop and admire people’s resilience, as well as their inexhaustible creativity in finding new ways to collaborate. Despite the terrible hardships of life under COVID-19, we shouldn’t lose sight of this incredible opportunity to change the world for the better. And as clichéd as it sounds, we can only do that together, working as a team.

Stay safe, happy riding, and here’s to a beautiful future – it’s closer than you’d think.

Want to ride with us? Visit our Jobs Page to see all current opportunities.

Karim Gharsallah

About this author

Karim is VanMoof's in-house recruiter.