By: Marc Wessels
Zuidas is an inspiring business environment in the south of Amsterdam, offering excellent connections to Schiphol Airport and the rest of the Netherlands. With its tall office towers, the district forms an instantly recognisable part of the Amsterdam skyline. But what does a typical day in the financial heart of the Netherlands look like?
Every weekday morning, thousands of passengers pass through Amsterdam Zuid railway station: for many, travelling by train is the fastest and easiest way to get to Zuidas. The district also benefits from a direct train connection to Schiphol, as well as the North/South metro service, which takes you straight to the city centre. In the morning hours, Zuidas is abuzz with commuters. Business people carrying briefcases in one hand and lattes in the other, hurrying to get to work.
For many employees here, the day starts by evaluating everything that happened the night before, as a number of companies in Zuidas operate on a global level, which means that there is round-the-clock trading activity. After these preliminary evaluation sessions, everyone starts their day. At the coffee machine or water cooler, people catch each other up on the latest company developments or they just have a friendly chat about their personal lives or the weather.
Salad or sandwich?
When lunchtime comes around, people head out for a salad or sandwich, and there are plenty of options to choose from for every budget, ranging from hip lunchrooms to straightforward sandwich shops: Backwerk, Sla, Market, Dagelijks Lekker, Dickey’s, Mech – the list goes on. The Dutch usually have lunch around 12.30, so if you’re keen on avoiding peak-hour crowds, it’s best to leave your desk around noon. Half an hour later and you might have to wait in line a little longer.
The Dutch often use lunch for informal business meetings with business partners. Because Zuidas is quite a compact district, looking up an acquaintance or business relation is easy. It’s relatively common to catch up over a sandwich or at a more high-end restaurant like Circl, so don’t be surprised if you’re invited to one of these Dutch-style lunch meetings.
After lunch, it’s back to work for a couple of hours of hard work before the working day finishes around 17.00, after which the bars fill up with office workers going out for drinks and coming together to talk about their days with friends and colleagues. Thursdays and Fridays are especially busy evenings for cafés like Limon, De Nieuwe Poort and De Blauwe Engel. The traditional vrijmibo (Friday-afternoon drinks) is a perfect way to start off the weekend. Often, these get-togethers are also used to make new contacts in a casual setting. The line between the personal and professional tends to blur during these informal events, but feel free to share things from your life outside the office.
Work never stops
If you leave Zuidas after sunset, you’ll see lots of office lights still burning – a magical sight against the night sky. Because Zuidas is an international business environment, the work never stops at some companies. Zuidas is alive and bustling, at any time of day!
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