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Over the past two years, Miele X has recruited a diverse group of the world’s most talented digital experts to our global hub in Amsterdam. We’ve grown fast, and now we need a new community space, a place where we can collaborate, innovate and grow together. Later in 2022 this new home will be based in Valley, Amsterdam, one of the most innovative buildings in Europe and set to re-define how we work and live in a more sustainable way.
We talked to Barbara van Asten, Director of Operational Excellence and Information Management about the move and why we chose Valley, what makes it such a unique workplace and why it’s perfect for a forward-thinking organisation like Miele X.
Designing an inspirational environment
The decision to move to Valley came from extensive research, initiated by Markus Herfert, one of the Miele X Operational Excellence team members, with the help of Christian Van Cadsand and Floris Tummers of Cushman & Wakefield, our commercial real estate brokers. We needed a place where we can facilitate global collaboration - a high tech, innovative digital hub that also has the space for everyone to really experience the Miele brand. But most of all, as Barbara explains, this is about creating a workspace as inspiring as our people are. “Valley is a completely new building in the Zuidas area of Amsterdam, designed by architect Winy Maas and developed by EDGE Technologies. It’s going to transform the area and the way that people live and work. Fully BREEAM certified – the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for buildings - it sets a new standard in sustainable living and working. It’s going to be a very inspirational environment for our team, a community hub where you can completely be yourself, and at almost 2250 square meters it’s around four times bigger than where we are now so can accommodate our rapidly expanding team. The way we will all be working is changing. We may not always be as present in the office so when we do work together, we want that experience to be exceptional and make the Miele X magic happen globally.”
A home for our unique diverse and inclusive working culture
Talk to anyone at Miele X and they’ll tell you that our working culture is unlike any other they’ve experienced. It's really diverse and inclusive, every voice counts. So, how will the new home at Valley allow this culture to flourish?
Barbara discusses the vision. “First of all, we have an amazingly creative Managing Director, Curt Simon Harlinghausen, who is truly one of the drivers for all sorts of ideas, from design to tech and who is a great support in the execution of this trajectory. Next to this our ideas and plans literally come from all over the world. We’ve really tried to involve the full team in workshops, reaching out to our Miele colleagues in other countries, and taken on board all of the great feedback we’ve received. We want to bring to life the international diversity of the Miele group, our Miele X team and our business with the workspace. So we are designing collaboration areas such as a ski cabin where you can have a meeting, or a rickshaw where you can work together - but most importantly, we want everyone to feel included. In terms of cultural diversity, it’s very important that anyone visiting us from our 50 or so markets feel that they can have places in the building to be themselves, whatever their preference, whatever their identity. So, for example, we will have an area where you can pray, where you can sit together connect and talk about things. We’ll also have a maternity room for the many young mothers working with us”.
A focus on health and wellbeing
As a business, we are firmly committed to the health and wellbeing of our people and have incorporated a number of features into the plans for Valley to support this. Barbara covers how this is core to our culture and how the new office will nurture our people. ‘We will have a regeneration area. It’s going to be somewhere where you can work-out, practice yoga, or meditate. We’ll also integrate sleeping pods. We want our colleagues from anywhere in Miele to be able to arrive and rest if they need to. There’s also going to be a greenhouse area inside the building, which is very positive for physical and mental wellbeing. As the outside of the building will feature a lot of greenery, we wanted the inside to reflect this as well.”
Sustainable working and living
One of the most striking aspects of Valley is the sustainable vision for the building, something that is a key objective for Miele X. Valley will bring much-needed greening to the area in what will evolve into a new mix of office and residential living. The 75,000m2 mixed-use project contains apartments, shops, offices, cultural institutes, and a creative centre, highlighted by a publicly accessible "valley floor”, gardens that anyone can visit and enjoy. These sustainability credentials are very important as Barbara explains. “It’s going to be one of the most sustainable offices in The Netherlands. As Valley is fully BREEAM certified, the design elements that we're going to build or bring in, including things like second life office furniture, have to adhere to these sustainability standards as well”
Preparing for our move later in 2022
Like any organisation planning an office move in a global pandemic, there have been challenges but we are on-track to move into our new home later in 2022 as Barbara describes. “We were proactive in ordering some of the materials and are currently in the internal design stage. We will soon move towards the technical requirements like IT, climate control, security and then a more detailed level of planning desks and meeting rooms. And of course, we will enable our teams to immerse themselves in the Miele appliances with a fully functioning kitchen and cooking islands as part of a big hospitality area, a Miele appliance wall and off course coffee from our very own Miele coffee makers.
“This is a very exciting project to be part of – together with our teams we are creating a workspace of the future, one that’s pioneering, sustainable and perfectly designed for global collaboration.”
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What’s Next? You Decide.