Well-being for all employees

Being able to work well means not only having the right equipment to work with, but also being in good health, both mentally and physically, where possible having security in uncertain times, staying contact with your colleagues and having a good work-life balance. The past year has shown that one or even more of these aspects were not equally feasible for everyone. That is why the Faculty Board has examined in various areas how we can implement improvements for our employees in order to ease a number of (work-related) tasks.

Realize that working as we are used to on campus is not the same as working at home. The Faculty Board and supervisors understand this. The "new normal" also requires a new way of working.


We encourage employees to talk to their supervisor to look at (temporary) work pressure relief. What can and cannot be realized under the current circumstances? This can be different for everyone. Perhaps an activity can be postponed. Or new initiatives have to be resumed at a later time. Work relief can be found both in the small (lesser emails) and big things (moving activities to a later date).

In addition, do not only discuss the priorities with your manager, but look at what energizes you as an employee. Finding a good work-life balance can also be done, for example, by looking at different working hours. Discuss various options with your supervisor and look at a workable situation together.

For all the detailed measures that can be taken in concrete terms per unit, you will find a more extensive document here.

The faculty has appointed various confidential counselors within SBE for undesirable behavior, complaints, problems or dilemmas in the field of integrity. On this page you will find all contact persons. Do not hesitate to get in touch with the contact persons, they are there to support you and ensure a safe working environment.

General Tips & Tricks

VU Amsterdam has various schemes to ensure a good home workplace, including a desk chair on loan or a fee for an ergonomic desk. All facilities can be found here. In addition, you can contact our IT department via Askit for all technical and IT-related problems.
Make sure you get enough exercise and take the time to eat, drink or take a short break from your screen. For example, schedule half an hour for lunch every day and also put this in your agenda.

Schedule meetings of 45 minutes instead of 1 hour. This is often enough to go through the content and gives each participant (including yourself) the opportunity to take a short break in between. So make sure that you plan as few consecutive meetings as possible.

Is it a one-on-one meeting? Then plan as much as possible away from your screen, for example by going for a walk or by calling each other.

Now that we are less able to simply walk up to each other, the mailbox is filling up. Where possible, keep the mail concise and limited in number. Consider the "cc" and "reply to all". Leave the question where it belongs. Sometimes a phone call is also more efficient.
Spontaneous contact moments, like the chat at the coffee machine, now rarely or no longer happen at all. Create space for more informal contact, for example by checking in with your team on Monday morning. Keep substantive meetings and social consultations separate; plan the latter consciously.