Achmea to concentrate operations in five core locations
Over the next four years, Achmea plans to concentrate its operations in five core locations, evenly spread throughout the Netherlands: Apeldoorn, Leeuwarden, Leiden, Tilburg and Zeist. The move has been made possible by digitalisation, new forms of flexible working and the reduction in the total number of employees. To achieve its goal, Achmea will close its offices in De Meern, Leusden and Zwolle in phases between now till the end of 2020.
We will also merge our operations in Tilburg into one office. This option is still being examined for Leeuwarden. The relocation plans will not trigger any additional job losses and Achmea will achieve significant annual cost savings. These plans have been submitted to the Central Works Council for its formal opinion.
Wide geographical spread
In recent years, Achmea has significantly changed because we are constantly adapting to the rapidly changing demands and expectations of our customers. We are digitalising our services, which allows the employees to work more efficiently. The number of employees has reduced as a result and this will continue over the next few years. With the interests of our customers and employees in mind, we have decided to opt for a wide geographic spread across the Netherlands.
No extra jobs will be lost as a result of the proposed relocations. Furthermore, Achmea will ensure that the impact of the relocations on its employees will be limited. We will achieve this by phasing in the relocations and by continuing to facilitate flexible working that is not dependent on a specific location or fixed working hours (for example, working from home and having flex-desks at other sites).
Unavoidable step, prudent approach
Willem van Duin, Executive Board Chairman at Achmea, explains the decision: “I completely understand that moving offices can have a significant impact on our employees. However, this step is unavoidable. The number of employee numbers will continue to decline. In addition, flexible working is becoming increasingly common, with our employees working at different locations and in different teams. An example of this is the new Agile/Scrum formats that call for a different type of working space. As a result, the need for traditional office space is declining. The money we spend on business premises is money we cannot spend on other things, such as services to our customers. This is why we will press ahead, but we will plan the relocations so as to limit the impact on our employees as much as possible.”
See appendix: details of the office mergers.