TWB's use of Google Workspace in times of crisis

TWB's use of Google Workspace in times of crisis

It is no secret we are dealing with extraordinary matters these days, especially those who work in healthcare. But how can organizations in that industry make sure their colleagues work as much from home as possible? Regional home care organization TWB found their solution in Google Workspace and in g-company. We spoke about it with Ruud Hagenaar, Manager I&A (computerization & automation) at TWB.


Hi Ruud, could you tell us how long it took for TWB to make sure office workers could work from home safely?

Well, that did not take very long. The decision to work from home was made on the morning of Tuesday March 10th, our first colleagues left the office that afternoon. Starting on March 11th, all of our office workers work from home. We allowed people to bring their own screen and keyboard home, to make sure everybody was set-up best. We use Google Meet intensively since that Wednesday, it allows us to stay in contact with each other.

We have not experienced any problems with working from home, even in this short timeframe. On Friday March 13th, we received a message from the Executive Board that everyone could work very well at home. So there was a lot of appreciation from the Executive Board that our infrastructure supports this sudden change so well.

It certainly helped that we’ve once made the decision to give everyone a Chromebook, instead of Chromeboxes. Our colleagues cán work from home easily because of this.

You say that Google Meet is being intensively used. What do you use this tool for?

We use Meet for meetings, it is perfect to stay in touch with each other. We can even share screens, so you’re able to show others what you’ve been working on. Besides meetings with video, Chat is also widely used for instant messaging.

We also run our job and employment term interviews through it. This helps to keep those processes going, with even training of new colleagues via Meet. We are also looking into whether it is useful to have client appointments run through Meet, for our dieticians for instance. Regular care continues at location, of course.

Do you have some tips for someone who is going to use Google Meet for the first time?

Yes, I sure do!

  • Set the notifications on your Chromebook to Do Not Disturb (it can be quite distracting during a video call when you keep on getting email or chat notifications)

  • Adjust your layout to your liking during a Meet

  • We sent instructions to our employees on how to use Meet and how you can easily share your screen

  • Make sure you have good WiFi and choose a place at home where you a have good WiFi signal

  • Create yourself a quiet space to work

  • Use a headset or external speaker, I use a separate Jabra Speak 510 myself

It is obvious you are a fan of Google Meet to work from home as best as possible. But what about the other tools Google Workspace offers? How do you view those?

I feel like the other Google Workspace parts are a bit underexposed in all the messages I’ve read recently about working from home. Especially now, the value of collaboration in for example Docs and Sheets is experienced as very valuable and powerful here at TWB. Rapidly collaborating in documents, deploying actions and requesting information, it’s all super easy. That is highly appreciated and people now recognize the value of it even more when working from home!

As someone who is now working from home for multiple days in a row, what advice can you give to others

  • First of all: get up on time every day. Make sure you shower and dress before you get behind your laptop.
  • Plan daily Meets with your team. We have one every day at 10:00 to speak to each other and to coordinate details and activities for that day
  • If possible, make sure you have a nice workplace at home
  • Exercise every day, go for a walk or bike ride
  • As we are all staying in a lot, make sure the air at home is also fresh!

Do you have more questions for Ruud based on this interview, or do you also want to hear other organizations’ experiences about working from home? Then book your virtual seat now for our online panel discussion: Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at 4:00 PM.

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