Gemeente Capelle aan den IJssel

'Everyone could give their opinion'

Who: The Capelle aan de IJssel town hall is the central point for residents of the municipality to arrange civil affairs. It is also the workplace for the mayor, aldermen and civil servants, plus the meeting place of the municipal administration. Around 450 people work there, divided between the town hall and the ‘gemeentewerf’.

Duration: October 2021 – May 2023

Key activities: Interior design, concept development, creating a support base for the upcoming change.


The assignment

Before Maike got the assignment, Capelle aan den IJssel municipality had already experienced that a hybrid working form was a good basis of a future-proof workplace concept. The assignment was to develop a proposal for hybrid working and write an advisory report on it. The main principles were the need for cooperation and a culture based on trust. A strategic housing plan was to be the basis for the workplace concept. “To arrive at the right plan, you have to gather all the wishes from the organisation. It was up to me and the project team to inform employees about what hybrid working means and to gather and translate their feedback.”

The progress

Implementing a new workplace concept that has support among employees starts with creating awareness and sharing knowledge. The new concept allows employees to work partly at home and partly in the office. In the office, employees now choose the place that best suits their activity, instead of sitting at the same desk every day. You can sit at a table with several colleagues or, for example, in a concentration room. “I shared this story in 18 different knowledge sessions of two hours each. I spoke to 200 out of 450 employees. The first comment in such a session was often ‘oh no, hope we don’t get a full open-plan office’. Fortunately, I really enjoy working with people, bringing all their needs to the surface and also reassuring them. When you work in smaller groups, you see creativity emerge, which is great fun.”


“Together, we translated the wishes, requirements, dreams and goals into components of the new workplace concept. Based on these sessions, we created a wish list of no less than 1,600 lines of valuable input, divided into 18 workplace-related topics. With this wish list in hand, we set up a testing ground on an empty floor for four months. A place where employees could watch, ‘test’ and leave their unvarnished opinions. Based on those opinions, something in the testing ground changed from time to time. Together with a highly motivated team of suppliers, we were able to offer employees many choices. After all, an optimal working environment is composed by and for employees.”

The result

“The result is a comprehensive advisory report on the future way of working within Municipality of Capelle aan den IJssel. It is an advice infused with the wishes of the employees, naturally supplemented by topics such as policy and feasibility.”


Curious about current and completed projects? Over the past few years, I rolled up my sleeves in many different places. In my portfolio, you can see the projects I was involved in. Projects I look back on with pride and a big smile.