Job satisfaction without borders: a sense of belonging for Dirk in Braşov, Romania
Dirk Thery has been working for Unilin Flooring Romania for three years now. He lives and works in Braşov, where Unilin found the missing link for its wood chain. Dirk now feels completely at home there, both professionally and personally.
We acquired the processing plant in Braşov from an Austrian company to processes tree trunks into wooden lamellas. "We purchase the tree trunks and process them into wooden slats about 2.5 mm thick. We send those slats to Malaysia to make parquet flooring: the end product for our customers," Dirk says.
This means we control the entire parquet flooring production chain, and we no longer depend on intermediaries. This allows us to make very conscious decisions about the material's origin and sustainability.
Moving to Romania doesn't seem a very obvious choice, but Dirk hasn't regretted it for a moment.
"We are all connected by our passion for our product: wood. Sustainability and respect for the environment are particularly important in that regard. I myself am a real nature lover. All our colleagues are, really. I am part of a very warm, close-knit group of Romanians here who often hang out with each other."
Brașov is surrounded by mountains and forests. It's a magnificent location if you ask Dirk. "I can be in the middle of nature in ten minutes, and I don't mean just a park. I mean a wildlife area where I can walk for a day. And if I drive for an hour by car, I can visit a wide range of interesting places. This is very unique: I lived in Malaysia, Australia and the Czech Republic before, but this is where I can move between work, the city and nature the fastest."
The best place
And there is more than just nature. "The city itself is lovely and very lively. And there is less traffic there than in Western Europe. I live a 15-minute walk away from the main market and I never find myself in a traffic jam on my way to work. For me, this is the best place I have ever lived."
Today, more than two years after Unilin took its first steps in Romania, about 250 people are working at the Braşov plant and production is running quite well. Dirk sees a number of reasons for this. "People here are very willing to learn," Dirk remarks. "That has resulted in a very smooth integration all in all." The fact that everyone shares the same values has also helped. "Quality is also our priority. We have invested in new machinery that monitors the safety of all our employees as well as the quality of our products. Our zero harm policy is very important to us."