Netherlands Helpdesk for EMA staff moves to Spark-building in Amsterdam
The Netherlands Helpdesk wrapped up its activities in London on 22 februari 2019. The helpdesk provides information for EMA staff about many aspects involved in moving to the Netherlands. As of March 11th the helpdesk will reopen in the temporary office for EMA, the Spark-building near Amsterdam Sloterdijk. Till then the helpdesk can be reached via e-mail or phone.
The helpdesk opened its doors in the EMA building in London on december 4th 2017, just 2 weeks after the decision was made to move the agency to Amsterdam.
For a long period of time it was unclear where EMA would find new home ground. When it became clear it would move to Amsterdam, EMA staff could finally start planning their relocation. The Helpdesk proved to be a welcome service as it was frequently visited right from the start.
De municipality of Amsterdam was assigned the task of the relocation of staff. They provide a tailor made, one on one program for each member of staff that had indicated he or she would move with the Agency to Amsterdam.
8 Helpdesk-fun facts
- The Netherlands Helpdesk in London has organized over 25 information sessions covering many aspects of living in the Netherlands, such as education for children, living in the Netherlands and jobs for spouses.
- "How long will my commute take?” was the most frequently asked question.
- Parents mostly focused on finding proper schools for their children. Next to that people were interested in the cultural activities in their hometown to be and the distance to the beach.
- The leaflets with information about The Hague and Alkmaar as well as the booklet 'My First Month' were most popular.
- Between December 2017 and February 2019 the Helpdesk received almost 2.000 e-mails.
- The helpdesk handed out lots of ‘stroopwaffles’, chocolate letters and liquorice. The stroopwaffles were loved by many, the liquorice not so much.
- The helpdesk helped organize four 'Orange Thursdays': events that helped EMA staff to informally get to know the traditions and characteristics of their new home ground.
- The Netherlands Helpdesk was decorated to make it feel traditionally Dutch. Some of EMA’s staff members admitted they would miss the photographs of tulips and windmills. Fortunately they will able to see them in real life in the future.