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Housing corporation Talis builds, rents and manages 14,000 homes in the Nijmegen and Wijchen area of the Netherlands. Talis and Gispen have been partners for a great many years. The first sketches for the layout of a new office building had already been drawn when the corona pandemic interfered with our plans. A new reality emerged: all those who were able to started working from home. The HR departments, some policy advisors and ICT staff immediately put their heads together and asked us for advice on working responsibly from home. This resulted in a custom-made webshop, with an ergonomic home office product range. Client John Pijnappels: “This was a very successful co-creation. We now know for sure that everyone is properly accommodated at home!

Step-by-step plan for ergonomic remote working

Talis is fully dedicated to striking a healthy balance between social relevance and responsible entrepreneurship. Talis is as committed to its own staff as to its tenants. John Pijnappels, policy advisor and prevention officer at Talis: "Providing our workers with a pleasant and ergonomically responsible work environment is very important to us. We have had a very good relationship with Gispen for many years. They always provide proper advice and the furniture they supply is ergonomically sound and sustainable. For the furnishing of our new office we once again turned to Gispen, seeking their advice on remote working solutions. Their step-by-step plan for facilitating this appealed to us right away."

Urgent need for proper home workstations

Since nobody was allowed to work at the office anymore due to the pandemic, there was an urgent need to arrange proper home workstations for those working from home. John: "It started with the delivery of computer monitors and arranging IT facilities. Soon, the question arose whether a proper chair could be borrowed from the office. An ergonomic chair that one could sit on all day."

A growing number of employees started to appreciate the efficiency of working from home for certain tasks. John: "We noticed that our people were more productive when they could manage their own time and work from home in peace and quiet. When we realised that remote working was to become 'normal', we conducted a survey among the 150 employees who were working from home. Also considering our new office layout, of course! We received results from 95% of the respondents and no less than 90% of them pointed out that they would like to work from home more often after the pandemic. This survey made our management team decide that a proper home workspace was quickly needed for all our employees. We asked Gispen for advice and assistance." 


Anticipating future scenarios

Danon van der Hoeven, Gispen Business Manager: "Talis aimed to handle things properly the first time around. They wanted to provide their employees with the same sit-stand desks as they were used to at the office: manually or electrically height adjustable. A compact 120 or 140 cm wide and 80 cm deep workstation was selected as well as office chairs that were identical to those at the office: ZINN Smart. The reason for doing so is a practical one; everyone knows how to adjust these chairs. Moreover, when someone leaves the company, the furniture can moved to the office and continue to be of use there. John: "I really appreciate how Gispen anticipates future scenarios."      


Gispen webshop for Talis

Gispen provided a full service: after selecting a home office product range, a custom-made Talis webshop was built for all our employees. They can use the webshop to order their own home office furniture quickly and easily. Every employee has been given a budget of € 1,000 to spend on a comfortable and ergonomic home workspace. This personal budget can be spent on a desk and an office chair, but also on good lighting or sun blinds, for example. Gispen compiled a digital brochure to facilitate the selection process for our employees. After all, providing good information is also part of our caring responsibility! Another added benefit: soon after the orders were placed, the home workstations were directly delivered to their doorsteps by Gispen."


What do you think of the result?

John: "I'm impressed. We have taken advantage of this situation by putting more thought into remote working. We have also placed fewer permanent workstations in our new building. Instead, we are introducing more temporary workspaces and meeting places. A process in which Gispen also shared its expertise with us. The home workstations have been well received by our employees; we are getting lots of compliments! We paid a lot of attention to the new working method, from wireless headphones that allow you to walk during a telephone call to monitors on loan. Not to mention the dedicated webshop for the home office products. When employees tell family or friends about this, they realise that Talis and Gispen truly take responsibility for their employees. Which, naturally, we are very proud of!"   

black and white portrait of Danon van der Hoeven
Danon van der Hoeven - Gispen Business Manager

A word from the specialist

It's been a pleasure to be working with Talis for all these years. We had the pleasure of furnishing their current building and we were already well on our way with the design plans for their new building. Due to the pandemic and the shift towards remote working, the requirements for their current and new office environment have changed considerably. It is in these situations that you appreciate the constructive working relationship with Talis, and it also good to notice that your advice is appreciated. We were very efficient when we set up the website and selected the product range together. The result is a practical Talis webshop. It has turned out to be very popular; people are shopping around a lot!"    

John Pijnappels Policy advisor and prevention officer at Talis
portrait of John Pijnappels
John Pijnappels - Policy advisor and prevention officer at Talis

The client’s thoughts

"We have been working with Gispen for a long time, and there are two important reasons for this. Firstly, the furniture is of high quality and will last for years. Secondly, their advice is highly professional and meets our specific needs. When it came to selecting the home office product range, Gispen knew what was best for our employees and for Talis. It feels good to be able to fulfil your responsibility as an employer in a pleasant way. Gispen was instrumental in achieving this."

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