Well-being in action: promoting health and satisfaction at VIB

21 March 2019
Well-being is a key point of attention at different levels of VIB. As a result, a variety of different VIB centers and institution-wide initiatives were launched with the help of the Well Being Group and the HR-team at VIB headquarters. Here you can find a quick and easy summary of the steps VIB took in 2018 to promote well-being in the workplace and beyond.

Within VIB Centers
Going Green
Biodegradable cups for cold drinks were made available near water fountains, and wooden stirrers are offered next to the coffee machine. There are also charging slots for e-bikes.

An initiative encouraging sports and ‘time-out’ time resulted in more than 2,000 laps around the block and 400 hours of mindfulness practice in 2018. A WhatsApp group for swimming and running was introduced. Fresh fruit was provided in many locations – over 3,000 pieces of fruit were consumed last year.

Dutch Courses
Formal Dutch courses are offered in Ghent, and there is also an initiative that allows participants to learn languages from their colleagues in a fun way during lunchtime ‘language tables’.

Across VIB
Feedback exchanges
In 2018, 732 feedback exchanges were registered throughout VIB in the Feedback Checker. That’s a great achievement, keep up the good work!

“We organize yearly feedback sessions in our team. Although these sessions require a very substantial time investment from my side, the outcome is overwhelmingly positive for everyone involved! Even the most critical minds in our group have admitted that our feedback sessions are important both for their own personal development and for improving their professional relationships within our team.” - Savvas Savvides (VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research).

Bsit Care
In 2018, Bsit Care successfully provided 170 babysitting sessions. VIB is subscribed to Bsit Care, an organization that helps individuals find babysitters and childcare professionals. As a VIB employee, you don’t need to pay a subscription fee – just the sitters’ rates.

“Very useful app! As an expat you tend to have a smaller social network and usually no extended family members in your new home country. I also promote this app to our new recruits to show what VIB does to ensure a good work-life balance.” - Joris de Wit (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research)

Career Counseling
In 2018, 75 collaborators followed a 90-minute career counseling session via VIB. These sessions are led by Dr. Lucia Smit, a professional career guide, and help colleagues deal with career-related challenges. They are open to all VIB collaborators.