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Stricter guidelines

“We work according to the Unilever Global guidelines, which are a lot stricter than the Dutch rules in many areas. This meant that anyone who could work at home, stayed at home. We adapted the factory to the new situation immediately; after all, it had to keep running. Office workers could borrow computer monitors and office chairs, if required. Once it was clear that this was not a temporary situation, we worked with the Central Works Council to examine the possibilities of a safe home workstation,” says Viola.


“We held a benchmark test. Ahrend did well in this for several reasons, including the sustainability aspect. In addition, there was a pilot involving office furniture due to the relocation to Hofplein (Rotterdam). On top of this, the fact that we have never had any complaints about the Ahrend 2020 office chair made it quite an easy choice. The Ahrend webshop now has a dedicated ordering option for our employees. We only needed to concern ourselves with the range, so to speak.”
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‘We can now be sure that the workstation is ergonomically sound.’
Charlotte Potman HR industrial relations specialist Unilever

Circularity and well-being

As Unilever prioritises the well-being of its employees, as well as circularity, they can choose between a normal desk and a sit-stand desk. The choice of office chair was already certain, because of positive experiences: the Ahrend 2020. Charlotte: “We can now be sure that the workstation is ergonomically sound. Of course, we also had to determine how Unilever would fund the purchase: we are doing this through a leasing arrangement.”

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Royal Ahrend thuiswerk webshop beeldscherm op balance bureau

Dedicated Unilever portal

Employees were kept informed of the home working options through the biweekly coronavirus update and the Una intranet site. A link takes them directly to a dedicated Unilever portal in the Ahrend webshop. Charlotte and Viola have received many positive responses: “About the furniture, but also the ordering process. The portal is laid out intuitively and the web chat seems to be a good addition. We hardly get any questions. Ahrend has taken care of everything.”


- Charlotte Potman, HR industrial relations specialist Unilever

- Viola Steehouwer, SHE officer Unilever