luchtfoto snelweg, bron:, Rijkswaterstaat

’The team spirit was there from the word ‘go’ (7/50)

In the case of long-term projects, it can be useful to work at the customer’s location day in, day out and to participate as a full member of a team. The lines are short, contact is intensive, coordination is effective. Advisor Erik Olink’s experiences with it are good. ’I consider my team members here colleagues.’

If you ask Erik Olink at a party what kind of work he does, he will say ‘advisor at M+P in the field of noise and air quality’, almost immediately followed by the fact that he is doing this for Rijkswaterstaat. Erik is one of the few advisors who is seconded to a permanent client for a longer period of time, where he spends 80% of his week. The other 20% he is a ‘head-cook-and-bottle washer’ and he helps M+P colleagues whenever they can do with some extra support with their projects. ‘I’m involved in two different road widening projects and I’m a member of two RWS teams’, Erik explains. ‘Rijkswaterstaat works with various teams for each route decision, such as the Environment Team and the Technology Team. I’m part of the Plan Products Team on two projects. This team is responsible for the route decisions that will be presented to the minister in due course. My two teams mainly consist of substantive experts and lawyers. They’re mixed teams, with a few other external employees in addition to me. The engineering firm that conducts the research is not part of the teams but it does play a very important role. We work very closely with them.’

Short lines, a lot of freedom
‘Come to think of it, I’ve often worked in comparable secondment structures’, Erik continues. ‘I like it, because by working together so closely, the lines of communication are very short. The threshold to contact someone, or to coordinate something, is also very low. And because this allows us to prepare well and effectively, the decision-making process is also faster and smoother. I also have a lot of freedom. For example, if I need to check a legal issue or need certain traffic data, I can decide for myself who to approach. I can also always coordinate things with my manager. I really like the combination of “working in a construction” and “a lot of freedom”.’

Team spirit
The lines are also short between the Plan Products Team and the engineering firm. The world of noise is a very small one, Erik emphasises. ‘On one of the projects, I work closely with an engineer who I’ve actually known for the full thirteen years I’ve been working at M+P. We hit it off right from the start. I see him, like my team members, as a colleague. There’s also a real team spirit, the idea you’re doing this together. That feeling was there from the word ‘go’ and will only become stronger in the coming time as we meet again physically instead of online. That’ll be at Rijkswaterstaat in the Maastoren - both projects are in Rotterdam - and at the engineering firm. Regular team meetings and team outings will also be organised. As I said: they’re like colleagues!’