Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2014 - Page 40

The Perfect Cut Skanska’s new workplace concept cuts down on square metres and boosts productivity to a new level Emerging from the recession, more and more companies are looking at their ways of working with a critical eye. While strong trends such as remote and mobile working challenge conventional thinking, a race is on to update the entire concept of today’s office. Photos: Sini Pennanen A mong the pioneers in this field, we find Skanska, an organisation which maintains that the offices of the future will be central nodal points at which coworkers can get together in different constellations – find ways of working that suit their organisation, themselves, and their families at that precise moment. Jorma Lehtonen, Managing Director for Skanska Commercial Development Finland, says that it is high time that companies recognise how dramatically the ways of working have changed over the years. “Companies must abandon the old philosophy of simply having people sit by the desks. It is much more effective to provide workers with different types of space that they can utilise.” This means, for instance, that an office should feature silent rooms for work that requires intense focus, livelier rooms for teams and projects, phone booths and “hot desks” for someone just popping in and out. Wanted: Dynamic Space Jorma Lehtonen, Managing Director for Skanska Commercial Development Finland. 38 Nordicum Adding a good degree of flexibility into the office is not exactly a new idea. In fact, the evolution of the office has herded people from individual rooms to cubicles and towards more open pastures. All the while, the number of square metres has diminished – along with the satisfaction of the employees. Skanska is looking to change all this: “Under our Activity Based Working (ABW) concept, the space is simply used more effectively and more creatively – and this will bring savings to the company as there are less square metres. Furthermore, giving the employees the premises and tools to do their work in a fun way will boost employee satisfaction and productivity,” Lehtonen says. The numbers are impressive enough: according to research, work satisfaction increases by 20–30 % when moving from conventional office to ABW. At the same time, when there is a designated space for every function, the productivity of the work can increase as much as 20 %. And the bottom