How SKJ successfully turned their office into a hybrid work model
SKJ is a Dutch independent professional register for youth professionals within the youth sector. They were founded in 2013 and recognized by the Ministers of Health, Welfare & Sport, and Security & Justice.
Growth - it doesn't always happen smoothly. Stichting Kwaliteitsregister Jeugd helps all children in the Netherlands to grow up in a pleasant environment (as best as possible) by guaranteeing the quality of Dutch youth professionals. Within their register, there are no less than 60,000 registered professionals throughout the country. Far more than initially expected, which meant that a lot of extra staff was required. In just 7 years, SKJ's team quadrupled. This soon became a challenge as their available office space could not sustain the growing team anymore. With the help of technology, SKJ decided to trust Ciao’s desk booking software to support their transition from a traditional office space with assigned desks to a hybrid office model with unassigned desks. Monique de Vreede, from the Human Resources department at SKJ, shares her experience regarding the NGO’s transition to a hybrid work model.
“For SKJ it is an advantage to be able to block desks for teams in specific rooms via the Ciao app.”
About Stichting Kwaliteitsregister Jeugd
SKJ assesses whether the youth professionals meet the requirements set in accordance with the applicable professional standard. They put the person behind the professional in the center of what they do. This results in great quality youth care on all levels. The ones benefiting from this are the children!
A growing team with less office space
Like many other organizations and companies, SKJ's desire to transition to a hybrid work model came about in the midst of the pandemic. During this time, the majority of the staff were forced to work from home, but, fortunately, SKJ managed to quickly implement this new work model.
Another challenge appeared as SKJ's team grew exponentially during the pandemic. It soon became obvious that there were not enough desks available for employees. They were missing a system that would allow employees to secure a workstation or a spot in the same room as their immediate colleague(s). The need for a tool to help them manage office occupancy, such as a desk booking software, was the next logical step for them to take.
Ciao seemed to be the right fit as it was very convenient to use, the web and mobile apps were intuitive and booking a desk only took a couple of clicks.
From a traditional office to a flex office
Thanks to Ciao's desk booking tool, it is easy for SKJ to see who is in the office, which day as well as where they are sitting. A handy feature to maintain a safe distance at the office, but also to be able to identify the source of potential contamination (if any) during the pandemic.
In the meanwhile, they were fully allowed to return to the office but their aim was not for everyone to come back 100% of the time. Although the office remains important for collaboration and face-to-face meetings, employees voiced their wish to continue working partly from home and partly from the office. SKJ was more than happy to accommodate them in this.
SKJ therefore completely switched to a hybrid work model. One of the challenges they encountered was for the teams to stay connected and keep a good team spirit (“we” as a team). To achieve this, all employees go to the office in Bilthoven at least two days during the week. This is a way for them to stay in contact with each other and exchange work experiences and ideas face-to-face.
This policy is working well. Yet, everyone has to get used to not working 100% of their time from home. The office can sometimes be quite busy with lots of stimuli. Hybrid work provides a good balance in this regard. Sometimes employees work from home where it’s usually more quiet and sometimes they come to the office where there is more stimulation. A desk booking tool is thus a great way to plan your visit at the office by reserving a desk but also to see who will be there on the same day.
The indispensable feature of a desk booking tool for SKJ is to be able to reserve an entire room (or zone) for a team on specific days. When they go to the office, it is convenient if colleagues from the same team can sit close to each other. With the Ciao app, you have the possibility to, not only, block special zones for specific teams but you can also do so for specific time slots. At SKJ, they work with unassigned desks situated in various rooms. Employees can also directly book a desk themselves.
Ciao’s desk booking software also offers an overview of the occupancy of the office throughout the week which is great to see who is going to the office and when. Booking a desk through the web or mobile app is very easy to use and this anytime and anywhere.
For SKJ, the biggest added value of hybrid working is to accommodate their employees and focus on their wellbeing. In addition, they save on office costs as they rent a smaller workspace.
Hybrid work as the new normal
In the years that SJK has been using Ciao’s desk booking software, employees have shown a clear preference for the mobile version of the app as it is, according to them, very intuitive, functional and informative. For example, they enjoy seeing which colleagues will be in the office and when. This is useful if you want to come to the office, especially to meet some of your colleagues. SKJ is also very pleased with the support it receives from Ciao. They found the Ciao support team to be very responsive, quick and efficient in answering any questions. The Ciao tool is constantly improving and new features are added based on customers’ feedback. It’s been a couple of years down the line now and SKJ couldn’t be happier with the results. The switch from a traditional work model to a hybrid work model with flexible workspaces has been a great success and SKJ cannot see their office working any other way!
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“The Ciao desk booking tool is indispensable for SKJ to see who is in the office and when"