For over a year, we’ve traded our cozy office in the Tropenmuseum for the challenge of working from our living rooms. While we’ve definitely missed Friday drinks at De Eeuwige Jeugd, we managed to swap casual chats by the coffee machine for weekly catch-up calls and online fun and games.
And whereas previously we’d see our CEO’s dog roaming round the office, we now have bursts of interaction on screen. As you would expect, our pets have enjoyed their newfound stardom, and frequently make cute appearances during meetings.
With the right training, they’ve not just learnt when to keep quiet, but also turned out to be super cheap labour. I mean who wouldn’t want a parrot to take over their calendar and chant their to-do list at odd moments throughout the day? Or a Labrador that barks to initiate a break and go on a lunchtime stroll through your local park?
Apart from providing these valuable services, our pets took a crash-course on smart charging and now help the team implement new and innovative ideas for the EV charging market.
But in this piece, we don’t want to bore you with our latest developments on Eichrecht, receipts from ad hoc charging, or our new German site. It’s much more fun to share a few pics of our team’s favourite pets and show off the puppies and kittens that spontaneously appear on Teams calls. These are the real stars of Team GreenFlux:
Chichi: a cute and cuddly boomer
Chichi is a boomer (50% shih tzu, 25% Maltese and 25% chihuahua) with a taste for good food. She loves eating bananas, but her absolute favourite dish is cheese. Using these treats, Jorrit Berkhout, Sales Director, taught her a few tricks, like sitting still and jumping up high. And of course, bananas and cheese couldn’t be missed on Chichi’s first birthday, which she celebrated on July 12.
‘Chichi loves people and gets along super well with kids. But when she meets other dogs, especially smaller ones, she prefers to walk past them and get pet by the owner.’
Freya: a 2-year-old Siamese cat
With Freya, you won’t always know where she is. She could be jumping on people’s shoulders or sitting in a box, playing hide-and-seek. But she never goes missing for long. As a Siamese cat, Freya is very vocal, and loves to meow as a way of conversation.
‘Freya makes frequent appearances in calls and meetings, and we need to play with her for at least an hour a day,’ says Erno Sombroek, Senior Product Owner. ‘Even though she’s 2 years old, she still has the energy of a kitten.’
Togo: the dog with his own Instagram
Togo is a very naughty corgi – always excited and sheds an endless amount of fur. ‘Togo loves keeping me and my girlfriend company,’ says András Czippán, Senior Developer. ‘Both of us had dogs for more than 10 years, and it was a dream of ours to get a corgi. We signed up with multiple breeders and getting Togo last summer was a dream come true.’
‘We named him after the sled dog who was the lead in delivering the serum in Alaska to Nome in the movie Togo. Togo loves photoshoots, and regularly posts pictures of his adventures on his own Instagram. ‘It feels great having the little guy around, and he makes up happy every day we work from home’.
Mister Flint: a computer-loving Siberian cat
Mister Flint is a Siberian Cat, who secretly wishes he was a famous pirate. But instead of conquering the oceans, he decided to help Ievgeniia Kovalchuck, QA Engineer, write automated tests. When he’s not working, Mister Flint likes to play board games and goes on all sorts of adventures. We interviewed Mister Flint for this piece, and he meowed that, in one of his adventures, he was ‘eaten by a shark.’
Arkus: a playful mutt from the shelter
Arkus burst onto the GreenFlux scene when itching (and enjoying!) an urgent back scratch a little too enthusiastically, as evidenced by the loud grunts that drew a raised eyebrow on the other end of the Teams call. After his second unannounced appearance, a dramatic vomiting moment on the carpet, he was given a proper introduction to the team via webcam. His nervousness rapidly decreased from there, and now he’s no longer shy about speaking up when he has a great idea for a social post, or more often, about when to take a break.
Marketing & Communication Manager Jennifer Heckman adopted Arkus last December. He had been abandoned at a campground in Amsterdam, along with paperwork showing his recent travel from Portugal. Luckily, he didn’t wait long at the shelter before finding his perfect match. ‘As soon as we met him, we knew had a new forever family member. He settled into our lives very quickly – I can’t remember what life was like before Arkus. Except, of course, that I was able to sleep in much later!’
When we start coming back to the office more frequently, we’ll need to leave our less travel-enthusiastic co-workers (including fish and guinea pigs) at home. Instead, we can catch-up with colleagues over lunch at the Tropencafé, and enjoy the serenity of the nearby Oosterpark.
Still, some of us will cherish the chance to keep their pets company throughout the day, and so hybrid working is a great chance to make the most of both worlds.