A workspace designed to help you focus

Miele X recently moved into its new Community Space in Amsterdam. Designed as a workspace of the future, it includes a wide range of innovative features that enable our people to perform at their best. So, now that they’ve settled in, we asked some of them about their thoughts on the Community Space and how it helps them to focus on getting X done.

One of our main priorities in the new Community Space was to create an environment that brings the best out of our people. Everyone has their own individual needs in order to perform effectively. It’s clear that some people are more productive working at home, while others need regular face-to-face interaction with colleagues. So, we wanted to include different areas that gave everyone the chance to find their own sweet spot.

Choose your ideal space

We built flexibility into the Community Space to create a modular workspace. For example, everything, including screens, whiteboards and even some of the walls, is moveable, so people can create their own spaces to suit their needs. Besides lots of areas where people can stop for a chat and collaborate, we also included plenty of quiet spaces. From our silence area, where people can take time by themselves to focus on a particular task, and individual soundproof call cabins that can be used for video calls, to larger meeting rooms where teams can get together and bounce ideas off each other. With plenty of plants and greenery around the space, we wanted to create a natural, welcoming atmosphere where people can thrive.

This is something that a lot of our people say they enjoy. In fact, for Noreen Ahmed-Garcia, one of our eCommerce Project Managers, it’s one of the best aspects. “If I need to be in the Community Space, but want some quiet time when I’m there, I like the fact that it’s flexible,” she says. “I can sit pretty much anywhere I want, depending on what I need.”

For Anton de Bode, a Frontend Engineer, having these options is a real bonus. He says that if he’s having an open conversation in the kitchen and then needs to talk about something more specific, it’s really easy to hop into a more private area, where there are fewer distractions. And Marcus Freeman, a Content Strategist, agrees: “There are lots of different areas you can use. You just choose the one that helps you to perform at your best.” He says this works for teams, as well as individuals. “I collaborate with multiple teams on a daily basis. Having the flexibility to hop from your own space to a totally different space to work with others is also a key benefit – it’s effortless and very convenient.”

Enabling technology

We didn’t just look at the way the Community Space was laid out. We wanted to make sure that the furniture and facilities would make working easier, too. Marcus says this really works for him, because he knows he’ll have a comfortable chair, his desk will be clean and the technology will work. He doesn’t even need to worry about having a charger, because when you connect to one of the available desk monitors, it simultaneously charges your laptop. And the desks have USB and USB-C charging points for all other devices. It’s what he describes as “a luxury, first-class work experience. It means I can get in the zone straight away.”

Noreen’s another colleague who appreciates this aspect of the design, adding that even in the individual call cabins, there are sockets and you can control the lighting and air conditioning. And across the Community Space, all the desks are motorised so they can easily be adjusted in height. She says being able to customise her workspace like this means she can focus, no matter where she’s sitting. She’s also been impressed with the technology in the 360-degree round table boardroom. It has screens and cameras integrated into the table, as well as screens on the walls. “It makes it easy for everyone in the meeting to concentrate on what’s happening, even if you’re not facing the main screen.”

Getting away from your desk

In addition to facilities that help people to focus in the moment, we created a number of areas where they can get away from their desks. The most popular of these seem to be the two kitchen areas. Sereza Glans, HR Officer, says she likes to take time out there and grab a snack. And there’s a wide choice of snacks available, such as fresh fruit – and, of course, chocolate – and it’s always fully stocked. Anton says having protein bars available is really useful, too: “When you work out in the morning and head to the office, it’s good to know that there's a little shot of protein for you there.”

Noreen compares the kitchen facilities with her previous employer, where it was the norm to eat lunch at her desk. She says it makes a big difference to have a nice place where she can physically move away from where she’s working. But she adds that the kitchen isn’t the only space where she can do this. One of her favourite spots is the balcony just outside the Community Space that overlooks Valley’s atrium. She often goes there if she has a quick job to do, or needs somewhere for a quiet one-to-one.

The prayer and meditation room, and recreation room are popular, too. Sereza explains that there are VR Headsets available for people to use for meditation. “It gives you the chance to take time out and relax, which can help you to concentrate.” And she adds that people are starting to use the Japanese-style sleeping pods. “One of my colleagues sometimes has a quick lunch so she can have a power nap before starting work in the afternoon.”

A place that brings out the best in you

It seems that the different elements built into the Community Space do give people the chance to find their own place that works best for them. And this enables them to focus on their work and deliver fantastic results. As Marcus explains: “It contributes to your daily achievements. When you leave work at the end of the day, you know you’ve got a lot done, you’ve enjoyed it, and you know how to keep on thriving.”


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