Universiteit Leiden

nl en

The Day of Working from Home

The 16th of March marks a year since the majority of the Leiden University employees have been forced to move their otherwise physical presence at their office to working at home due to the corona crisis. This date has been symbolically named "The Day of Working from Home", a milestone not everyone may wish to "celebrate". Nevertheless, this day should not be left unnoticed. Follow us and sign up! 

Activities March 16th 2021

For some, the mandatory working from home is no big deal, while others others be extremely content to go back to their  physical workplace again. Until then, Healthy University Leiden tries to provide our employees with tools to study and work from home in a healthy and responsible manner. Various tips and tricks can be found in the HU @ Home dossier. Click on the themes below to go through to contents of the dossier:

In addition by regularly organizing activities, we try to keep our colleagues fit, vital and on the move. On March 16th we are therefore organizing a number of sports lessons, an office workout and a webinar about working vitally for our home office employees (in Dutch only). Register below in the timetable!

Recorded webinar 'Vitality comes first: also for the homeworker' (NL) 

Having healthy employees is high on the wish list for many employers and managers. However, due to remote work communication with employees has become more difficult. One may ask oneself: How could the vitality of employees be increased given the current circumstances of working from home in addition to communication taking place remotely?

In a one hour session, Psychologist Ymke Dorrepaal will provide you with her vision on vitality, where she will be examining the dual aspect of vitality;  namely the body and mind. Additionally, this session is especially valuable to managers on gaining more insight into their influence on the vitality of their employees, and also how this knowledge can be put into practice within their organization (this webinar is only available in Dutch).


After a year of working and studying from home we all know the pros and cons: most of us miss the face to face contact and spontaneous meetings with colleagues and students, however working from home also has its advantages. The COemissions as a result of travelling has reduced as we commute less to work and undergo fewer trips for our work.

Did you know that in 2019, the CO2 emissions due to commuting to Leiden University buildings and business trips totaled 24.3% of the total gross CO2 emissions of the University?1 This amounts to the equivalent of 10,581 tons of CO2 , which is roughly the same amount of CO2 produced by 1,763 return flights from Amsterdam to Sydney. In 2020, after almost 9 months of working from home and limited office work, the COemissions due to travel amounted to the equivalent of 3,174 tons of CO2: about 30% of the emissions compared to previous years.

Research has shown that if 1 in 10 workers in the Netherlands continues to work from home 1.5 more days, that this will lead to 3 billion fewer kilometers of commuting per year. This will result in an annual saving of 1.7 billion euros and 78 million hours less travel time. The climate benefit is estimated at almost 353,600 tons of CO, as shown in the research by CE Delft.

Here are a few tips to turn your home office into a green(er) home office:

  • Separate your waste: the work places on campus offer waste stations with various separation waste streams. You can also do this at home:
    • plastic packaging waste and drink cartons
    • paper and cardboard
    • biodegradable waste 
    • residual waste

Check the waste separation guidelines of the municipality where you live for the details.

  • Try to completely switch off your laptop (and other electornic devices) when these are not in use.  It's a small effort, but it can go a long way and save you a lot of electricity on an annual basis. At the end of the day, try to not only turn off your laptop but also unplug it form the socket. 
  • Decorate your home office with (many!) plants! An office or home full of plants has many advantages. According to various studies, plants reduce stress and increase creativity and productivity. In addition to that, they also purify the air in the room.

Lunch session staff members 'think tank' 16 March 12.00-12.45 (in Dutch)

Would you like to know more about making Leiden University more sustainable and do you have any ideas on how this can be achieved? On the 16th of March you can join an online session in which we tell you briefly about the current sustainability situation at Leiden University. Additionally, the Leiden University Green Office will tell about their most important projects. Do you have your own ideas on how the University can become more sustainable? Would you like to contribute to sustainability in your daily work? Then think along in the Staff members Think Tank!

The link to the Think Tank: Click here

1Travel to and from work and business trips amounted to 24.3% of the total CO2 emissions before compensation in 2019. In other words: the CO2 emissions of a number of components are offset by the purchase of green certificates. This is the case for the CO2 emissions of all electricity, gas and geothermal energy consumed and the air travel made in 2019.

This year's central theme of the Hortus Botanicus Leiden is Green Craftmansmanship. The main task of the botanical garden is to to profesionally maintain the scientific plant collection and to protect endangered plant species from extintion. This year their green craftsmanship knowledge and skills will be shared with visitors and plant lovers through many mediums: a magazine, exhibition and online tutorials. Follow Hortus Botanicus Leiden on their social media: Facebook, Instagram and Youtube

Recorded workshop 'Wreath making from branches and flower bulbs' (NL)

Brighten up your working space at home with some spring flowers. These are currently in full bloom at the Hortus Botanicus Leiden. Our Hortus colleague Cynthia will show you how to make a wreath from branches and flower bulbs. Watch the video to listen to Cynthia explaining the process

Recorded workshop 'DIY grow your own avocado at home' (ENG)

Grow your own avocado at home. The head Kassen Rogier van Vugt will run you through the process. Avocado's are super healthy; rich in vitaming, minerals and fiber.

Writing Competition: Houseplants

It is great to surround yourself with houseplants at home. Maybe your home office is becoming greener by the day and you are already busy with you plant cuttings, letting these grown in water and also sowing them. The saying goes that plants grow better if you talk to them. Give it a go and let your plants listen to this exciting story (NL) about a begonia on its way back to its roots!

Do you think you can write a better story? That is great to hear, as the Hortus is organizing a writing competition as part of the Hortus theme: Craftsmanship in Horticulture. Every week, we will choose the best story and read it aloud. It is a bit of a joke, but we would also like to challenge you to try something new: write a story about houseplants.

You can find all the information about the writing competition here (NL) 

University Leiden encourages its employees to use and develop their talents. We do this by supporting you in your career and in your personal and professional development. We try to ensure that you get the opportunity to realise your full potential.

We learn and develop at work e.g. by sharing knowledge with colleagues and by following courses. This may seem difficult now that most of us work from home. However, staying ‘mentally active’ is extremely important for our resilience and career development. Therefore, Leiden University offers a variety of options for you to continue your personal and professional development from home. Want to know more? Visit the page of Learning & Development or join our Learning@Home the Growth Mindset session!

The growth mindset session (ENG+ NL)

In addition to physical activity, ‘mental activity’ is also extremely important for our well-being. It helps to strengthen mental resilience. And we can put that to good use in these times - both privately and at work. In this session, you will learn more about the ‘growth mindset’ (and apply it directly within an interactive exercise) and find out about the different possibilities within the university, to continue to learn and develop from home!

11.30-12.00 Growth Mindset Session link (NL)

13.00-13.30 Growth Mindset Session link (ENG)

Would you like to prevent CANS (Complaints of the Arm, Neck and / or Shoulder) by sitting behind your computer too much? Is your workplace at home not optimal or are you experiencing discomfort? Then contact your Health and Safety coordinator. They can be of assistance with ergonomic advice and other potential solutions.

On the “Day of working from home”, you can also have a short online consult during the MS Teams walk-in consultation hour. Below you can see which coordinator is responsible for which building. All coordinators will offer two online consultation hours on March 16th, from 10:00-11:00 and 13:00-14:00. If you are unable to attend these consultation hour, please contact us by email and you will be scheduled at a time that is more convenient to you.

The Centre for Innovation, a do-and-think tank of Leiden University,  explores transformative trends in the digital world, creating innovative methods, products and solutions for Leiden University and partners. This also means finding the right balance between digital technology and personal wellbeing. With the UN Sustainable Development Goals in mind the Centre has also explored  Mindfulness in this digital world, using several media like online courses and podcasts ( the majority are available in English only).

Remote Working

Remote Teaching & Learning

Mindfulness & Sustainability

The schedule

Time Activity
08.00-08.45 Sports class: Yoga ( taught by Aurora de Leeuw) (ENG + NL)
10.00-10.20 Office-work-out (taught by Kathelijne Mischner) (ENG + NL)

Online walk-in hours: Healthy and Safety Coordinators (ENG + NL)

Annemieke van der Hulst

Els Vijfvinkel

Yvonne Snelder

11.30-12.00 Growth Mindset Session (NL)
12.00-12.45 Lunch session staff members Think Tank about sustainability at Leiden University (NL)
13.00-13.30 Growth Mindset Session (ENG)

Online walk-in hours: Healthy and Safety Coordinators (ENG +NL)

Annemieke van der Hulst

Els Vijfvinkel

Yvonne Snelder

17.00-17.45 Sports class: Zumba (ENG+NL)

Available all day

  1. Recorded webinar 'Vitality comes first: also for the homeworker' (NL)
  2. Recorded workshop 'Wreath making from branches and flower bulbs' by Hortus (NL)
  3. Recorded workshop'DIY grow your own avocado at home' by Hortus (ENG)
  4. A Very Mindful podcast by Centre for Innovation (ENG)


This website uses cookies.  More information.