Amsterdam’s newest hotspot building, The Valley, famous for its architectural awards and sustainable features, recently became home to Miele X, Miele’s global digital hub that supports the Group in creating and growing their digital heritage. Now, the company is officially opening the doors to its new inspirational, innovative and sustainable Community Space: “We’ve thought about ‘the office of the future’ and built our new Community Space according to this vision, with the aim of addressing changes and evolution in our world. Completed on time, all within budget and with smart, sustainable solutions, such as 20% of the furniture being refurbished, the Community Space is open for Miele colleagues from around the world. We invite everyone to come and find their spot here. My spot is a small touchdown desk right in the middle,” says Curt Simon Harlinghausen, Managing Director of Miele X.
From their brand-new space in ‘The Valley’, Miele X aims to deliver digital experiences that engage and excite Miele customers worldwide. The new 2,000 m2 Community Space is six times larger than the company’s previous workspace. The extra square metres offer a space to inspire the diverse workforce of Miele’s digital hub. It is a place that stimulates efficiency, creativity, collaboration and networking. Let’s take a tour.
When the elevator doors open, you are welcomed by a small Miele Museum showing 124 years of heritage. Behind a glass wall, you’ll see some of the iconic brand’s inventions, such as a historic vacuum cleaner and one of their first washing machines. When you walk past this trip down memory lane, you enter a spacious, bright and welcoming lobby. Through the glass walls and doors in this area, you can already catch a glimpse of the epicentre of the Community Space.
Your host at Miele X will first offer you something to drink from the fully-equipped Miele kitchen, where you can have any coffee or tea you fancy (served in a pre-warmed cup), filtered water or a perfectly chilled soft drink from the fridge. At lunchtime, Miele X colleagues use the kitchen to cook meals with fresh herbs straight from the green room, which is conveniently located right next to the cooking islands. They can also make use of even more Miele products in the in-house Miele Experience Centre. The washing machines and dryers are already very popular, with colleagues bringing in their laundry and taking home fresh clothes at the end of the day.
Meeting & inspiration rooms
The Community Space is home to many meeting rooms, including the green room, which is also a greenhouse. Moving on from the kitchen, you see open working spaces, smaller call cabins and soundproofed meeting rooms for up to four people. Less traditional, and in celebration of the many different nationalities at Miele X, you’ll find unique break-out areas throughout the building. Think of a tuk-tuk from India and a ski cabin from Austria. For video conferences with a larger group of people, the 360 internal boardroom called ‘Silbersaal’ is the place to be. Described as ‘inclusive, energising and connecting’, this biodynamic room was created to provide the ultimate meeting experience. With furniture and technology in a 360-degree set-up, it allows up to 12 team members to connect through a video call, with several innovations to make it feel as close as possible to a face-to-face meeting. Just like the rest of the Community Space, the ‘Silbersaal’ includes lots of plants to create a warm and cosy atmosphere.
Inclusivity and well-being
“We call our new place our Community Space, rather than an office. An office is a place where you come and go. This is so much more. We created a place similar to home, that not only inspires people, but also offers all kinds of amenities to promote their well-being. I see collaboration as a muscle that makes us strong. It’s all about balancing cultural diversity, experience and skill set,” explains Curt Simon Harlinghausen.
Some of the amenities Harlinghausen mentions can be found in a quieter area, near the silent space where people can work and concentrate in peace. One of the doors leads to a recreation room, where people can practise their faith or meditate. Another door opens to the maternity room, a private space for parents. But that’s not all. There is also an exercise room where you can do some yoga, and even two sleeping pods for anyone who needs a power nap.
Curt Simon Harlinghausen continues: “Miele X is a performance community. We commit to be effective in everything we do. We’re tech-savvy and have implemented the best digital and efficient solutions in order to do our work. But even more important is the ‘human touch’. We’re nothing without the incredibly talented people who work here. For them, we’ve created an inspiring environment to work, learn and share knowledge, all while being their best selves. Always learning and being curious.”
A great place to be
As you walk around, you’ll notice that this space and everything in it are top-notch. At the same time, it is perfectly balanced with lots of plants, pleasant lighting, soft materials, soothing colours and unique elements from around the world. It’s a warm, welcoming and inspiring place that employees and guests are excited about.
Jyoti Kushwaha, Frontend Engineer, moved from India for her role at Miele X and says the new Community Space helped her feel at home: “When I moved to Amsterdam for this job, I decided to go to the office very often to meet people and learn about the company. The open design of the spaces makes it very easy to walk up and talk to people. The colleagues are very kind and shared useful insights about the business and the city. I can say that the new Community Space gave me a sense of belonging and, together with the nice people here, definitely eased my transition.”
Jiaqing Zhong, Corporate Manager Projects Marketing & Sales at Miele, is based in Germany and was one of the first international colleagues to visit Miele X’s new home. She describes her visit as eye-opening, emphasising the feeling of community: “I like the open and inviting environment, which allows you to network and have a great time while working together. Different set-ups that meet specific purposes and needs only add to the efficiency of the space. It really feels like an office that never ‘ends’.”
“We went through an exciting journey, finding a home that fits the iconic Miele brand, creating the concept for our ideal Community Space and building it until we could finally test it for the first time. Today, we’re officially up and running. I’m humbly proud of the result and truly believe that our new Community Space brings together business, culture and human values,” says Harlinghausen. “And now that our ‘100 days without complaint period’ is over, we are ready for all the feedback to make our Community Space even better,” he adds with a smile.More info can be found on miele-x.com