Things are a bit different now. The first vacuum cleaner we made, the DC01, involved four mechanical engineers sitting in the hayloft of a Wiltshire Coach House and two engineers downstairs, working machines. The latest, the V15 with laser and sensor technology, involved 400 engineers – engineers and scientists working in acoustics, AI, connectivity, energy storage and motor control – with a vast array of skills and expertise, all over the world. We have grown to become a global technology company and we are growing still, recruiting thousands of new engineers and scientists, and investing in the latest labs where they work.
Globally, we strive to build and engineer spaces that are well-designed – places that are enjoyable and exciting for our people and customers. I have always been sceptical of design that puts looks ahead of function. It is no use having a beautiful product that doesn’t do its job – and the same goes for buildings.
We want to preserve the original purpose of our old buildings while modernising them for use today. It’s something we’ve done since the very beginning because it’s the right thing to do, both for the environment and the way we work. We don’t hide things away; the services and structures are all there to see because what works begins to look beautiful.
We don’t want people tucked away in offices so we have open-plan spaces, where teams can meet, talk and think together – the chance encounter being as vital to progress as the long-scheduled meeting. Our cafés serve great-tasting, locally sourced food (in the UK this is often from our own farms) cooked by world-class chefs. They serve as more casual forums for collaboration, dotted around our spaces, a coffee or tea within easy walking distance.