Suddenly we were all forced to work from home, because of COVID. How do you handle managing a virtual team? 

COVID and the mandatory working from home-situation” presented managers with a major challenge. How do you keep your team engaged and connected, when suddenly everyone is working 100% remote. The challenges that team members faced while working from home varied enormously: health problems, stress from having to combine a workday with home-schooling children or loneliness for example. How do you make sure that your team feels safe enough to talk openly about their personal situation? How do you find out what your team members need, and what to realistically expect from them? 

The “I-actually-miss-the-office” box contributed to an open conversation and greater mutual trust.








Foto from news item on “the box”

In collaboration with consultancy firm “Ondernemende Gasten”, creative strategist Jesse Moerkerk and publicist Japke d Bouma (world renowned in The Netherlands) we developed and launched the “I-actually-miss-the-office” box, that directly contributed to greater openness, mutual understanding and trust. 

We all secretly missed the office. We missed lunch, the informal conversations with colleagues over coffee and even the open-plan office. The box contained a plant to take care of for the workspace at home, a conversation game to facilitate candid dialogue, and an online escape room as a fun element. In 2020, we supported more than 100 teams and more than 1800 employees to discuss their personal challenges when working from home. The box was sent to at Cargill, IHC, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Municipality of Heerenveen and Eindhoven, Nationale Nederlanden and many more. 

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 Lucas Schröder
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