Telenet gives its office a new purpose and allows staff to work from home until at least the end of the year

Telenet gives its office a new purpose and allows staff to work from home until at least the end of the year

An office landscape and car parks make way for big collaboration areas

Telenet adopts a fresh approach to the combination of teleworking and working at the office. Yesterday, the telecom operator informed its staff that they will be able to work from home until at least the end of this year. However, in order to promote and encourage social cohesion and physical cooperation even in times of COVID-19, the company is also setting up twenty big collaboration areas where teams of up to 30 people can hold meetings or brainstorm sessions while maintaining a safe distance of one and a half metres. Telenet is also looking into the possibility of setting up collaboration areas in the open air at unused car parks. This will, however, result in a reduction in the number of individual workplaces. All employees can book a workplace in advance using an app. Anyone who is unable to work from home for social or technical reasons will be given priority.  As a result, the office will more than ever become a place to connect and collaborate.

Big international companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have already announced that teleworking will be the standard at their companies until at least the end of this year. Telecom company Telenet is one of the first Belgian companies to follow suit. The telecom operator is also working on a new vision on the use of its offices, in which they are no longer seen as a traditional workspace but as a social meeting place.

Physical collaboration in corona-proof spaces at car parks
Telenet is adapting its seven offices in Mechelen-Noord, Mechelen-Zuid, Wommelgem, Zaventem, Sint-Truiden, and Aalst to this new way of working. The telecom player is making space for a total of twenty collaboration areas where up to thirty employees can work together or hold meetings, while maintaining a safe distance of one and a half metres. In doing so, the company strictly observe the recommendations of the government: only ten people will be able to convene here at the same time, at a safe distance from each other, for the time being. Offices are making way for corona-proof collaboration areas that can even cover an entire floor. 

Given that many car parks are currently not being used, Telenet is also looking into the possibility of setting up open-air collective workspaces here. The company is already encouraging people who convene in the office to hold their brainstorming sessions and other meetings while taking a stroll outside or around the building.

“Before we knew it, we all ended up taking part in a social experiment. Instead of waiting until this corona crisis is over and returning to our former situation in the office, we see this as a positive challenge in which we can redraft our HR policy and the way we work in an accelerated yet carefully considered manner. Will we ever be stuck in collective traffic jams again during the morning and evening rush hours? At Telenet, we hope that we will never return to this situation. Rather than an everyday workplace, an office should be a meeting place where employees can gather for inspiration from time to time. At Telenet, we are busy drafting our plans for a future that reflects this idea.”

Ann Caluwaerts, EVP People, Brand & Corporate Affairs Telenet

2,600 teleworking employees

Full-time teleworking will remain the standard at Telenet until the end of the year.  The measure applies to employees who can work remotely without any issues. This applies to 86% of the staff, or 2,600 of the company’s 3,025 employees. However, employees who want to work in the office can book a workstation in advance using a specially developed app. Employees who are unable or unwilling to work from home for technical, personal or social reasons are given priority. This gives Telenet not only an overview of the building’s occupancy, but will also enable easy contact tracing should an employee become infected with COVID-19. 

It’s becoming increasingly clear to everyone: COVID-19 will have an impact on both our private and professional lives until at least the end of the year. We are aware of the fact that no one benefits from what you would call a yo-yo effect, in which employees constantly alternate between compulsory teleworking and returning to the office. Several in-company satisfaction surveys also revealed that employees need clarity and perspective. This is precisely what we are offering them: teleworking will remain the standard for the majority of employees until at least the end of this year, but with the big difference that they can get together at the office  from time to time to connect and physically work together at a safe distance. This new balance between working from home and at the office ensures that employees will maintain a connection to each other and the company while still being able to enjoy all the benefits of working from home.”

Ann Caluwaerts, EVP People, Brand & Corporate Affairs Telenet

The Telenet and BASE stores remain open. Telenet is convinced that it can run its business operations here in a controlled and safe manner, for its employees as well as its customers. The technicians will also continue to provide their assistance to any customers who encounter problems with their products or services. 

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About Telenet BV

As a provider of entertainment and telecommunication services in Belgium, Telenet Group is always looking for the perfect experience in the digital world for its customers. Under the brand name Telenet, the company focuses on offering digital television, high-speed Internet and fixed and mobile telephony services to residential customers in Flanders and Brussels.

Under the brand name BASE, it supplies mobile telephony in Belgium. The Telenet Business department serves the business market in Belgium and Luxembourg with connectivity, hosting and security solutions. More than 3,000 employees have one aim in mind: making living and working easier and more pleasant.

Telenet Group is part of Telenet Group Holding NV and is quoted on Euronext Brussel under ticker symbol TNET. For more information, visit Liberty Global - one of the world’s leading converged video, broadband and communications companies, innovating and empowering people in six countries across Europe to make the most of the digital revolution – owns a 93.43% shareholding in Telenet (including treasury shares held by Telenet).

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