Case

‘The bicycle-app in particular is a big success here’

by
Femke Vonk
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Ninna Post is a communications advisor at the Rode Kruis Ziekenhuis en Brandwondencentrum Beverwijk [Beverwijk Red Cross Hospital and Burn Centre]. Within their small communications team, Ninna is in charge of, among other things, promoting carpooling with the Rideshare-app and motivating employees to use their bicycles.

A regional hospital with various specialities

The Red Cross Hospital is a mid-sized,  general hospital for the Midden-Kennemerland and Ijmond regions. The Beverwijk Burn Centre in the hospital enjoys national and international renown, but the hospital also has its own obesity centre. In addition to fulfilling the regional function for standard hospital care, the hospital has set up a nursing ward for Corona patients, who are also being treated in the intensive care unit.

An Active Team

Our communications team is an active team made up of one man and four women, which is occasionally reinforced by a temporary freelancer or an intern. Together we are all responsible for patient communications, internal communications, and external communications. I am mainly involved in organising events, such as open houses, labour markets or the staff party. I manage our social media channels, and I’m responsible for promoting carpooling and the use of the bicycle app.

A Fanatic Lot

We’ve been working at Ijmond Berekibaar [Reachable Ijmond] for about five years. While the programme was initially intended as a cycling motivation programme, it now focuses on various measures regarding sustainability and smart mobility as well as offering attractive solutions that should lead to less rush-hour traffic, better traffic throughput, and reduced CO2 emissions. For this, we use the Rideshare and Cycles apps from Toogethr. Our colleagues are very enthusiastic, especially about the cycling app.  We used to work with a different app, but it messed things up every now and then. For instance, it would sometimes miscount the kilometres ridden, and our colleagues – who are all very fanatic – were really annoyed by this. It’s really good to see how teams form and really make the effort to win. To achieve that, they’re also happy to get on their bikes in their free time.

Rewards

What I hadn’t expected was that the use of the Rideshare app would remain the same, even in this period. Because of the pandemic, people who are not doing hands-on work at the hospital are working from home as much as possible. If they have to come to the hospital, they seem to use the app in order to travel together. I know, for instance, that two colleagues from radiology were already riding together before we started using the Rideshare app. They think it’s great that there’s an app and that they’re rewarded for sharing the ride.


Sustainability and prevention

Sustainability and prevention are the main reasons that we’re using the Rideshare and Cycles apps. We’ve always tried to motivate people to exercise, and the cycling app fits in with this very well. The advantage is that many colleagues live in the neighbourhood and therefore almost always use their bikes. Moreover, we’re just a seven-minute walk from the station. Thanks to the carpooling options, we often see free spaces in our relatively small car park; previously, it was almost always full. But the cycling app, in particular, is a big success here. Colleagues enjoy being sporty, collecting points for themselves or the team, and participating in challenges.

 

Behavioural change continues

Looking at our own department, I see that my manager and our designer work full-time in the office. Our reprographics service – where our designer works – is in the hospital, and nurses can come with urgent requests throughout the day. My other colleague and I work alternately at the office and at home. I think the past period has been seen by many people as a wake-up call. In many cases we can also work very well from home –  it suits us and yields surprisingly good results. I expect that this behavioural change will persist. I’m personally in favour of continuing to work from home one or two days a week, but for the rest of the week I would also like to go to the office to see my colleagues.

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