Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2014 - Page 41

Eero Ojala, Marketing and Leasing Manager for Skanska Commercial Development Finland. line: taken together, the efficient use of space and the increase in productivity can bring in savings to the tune of 40 %. Rooted on Inspiration The concept of Activity Based Working was launched already 20 years ago, and Skanska has consistently upgraded the concept as tools such as cutting-edge information technology have taken hold in the workplace. ABW addresses architecture and space, but places significant focus on other things – ranging from strategic thinking on HR and technology issues – as well. At the core of ABW, there is the desire to create an inspiring environment based on individual needs; to facilitate meetings and innovation in contrast to the “flexioffice” where as many employees as possible are crammed into the smallest possible space. Marketing and Leasing Manager Eero Ojala says that in the workplace today, it’s often a tug of war between the need to collaborate and the need to work independently without distractions. “Presently, we find that there are a lot of poor compromises out there,” he says, adding that employees rarely get the most out of their working day. Ojala observes that as mobile revolution continues, some will work from home, others will be almost constantly on the road – and few will remain by their desks. “Anyone Using This Chair?” Nevertheless, international research suggests that if you look at offices around the world – regardless of size or industry – you will find that the chairs by the desks are used only 35 % of the time. This means that workers are already voting with their feet – and spend almost two-thirds of their office hours away from their desks. Skanska believes that the time is right for forerunner companies to step away from the idea of designated desks and embrace the new type of work flow. But what about remote working? Could the “Office 2.0” become obsolete very soon, as everybody wants to work from home or a trendy café? Ojala says that this is an important question since one can already see that companies are responding in different ways to this challenge. “There are those companies who want their employees at the office and they find ways to regulate remote working to such a degree that it becomes inconvenient. That’s certainly one way to do it. But wouldn’t it be smarter to make your office so attractive that the employees really want to come there?” “Making work more fun” is an important element of activity-based thinking. Ojala speaks about the various possibilities that the modern office holds: it can be a “basecamp” where you have everything you need or a “showroom” where you can bring clients and dazzle them with some of the things you have going on. Bet on the Best Jorma Lehtonen is convinced that what the market wants now is quality offices: either to use the offices as tenants or to buy them. With extensive background in real estate investment, Lehtonen knows that when times get tough, investors bet on premium real estate. One of the strong selling points is environmental issues and Skanska has accomplished a lot in t