January 16, 2017

The future of workplaces is here and it looks like Tieto Keilalahti Campus

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Patrik Etelävuori

Head of Concepts and Innovations - Facilities, Tieto

Digital transformation affects every part of a business, and it's at the heart of what we do also at Tieto. But one area that's often overlooked is the workplace itself, as many companies still rely on the same processes and ways of thinking they did when people relied on typewriters and filing cabinets.

This surprises me, because the way we work today has changed dramatically from even a few years ago. Driven by new technology, people have greater expectations than ever before when it comes to their working life - they expect it to be as flexible as their personal life.

So when we at Tieto were looking to transform our Keilalahti headoffice, it was important for us to recognise this. We saw it as an opportunity to showcase how the future workspace should function, and build an environment perfectly tailored to the needs of its users.

A human-centred approach

One problem that affects many projects - not just in workplace design - is that there's often a disconnect between what a designer envisions a user experience being and how people actually use it. No matter how carefully a designer plans workflows or specific paths for people to follow, in the real world, people will quickly develop their own workarounds and shortcuts if they think it's more effective.

Therefore, the focus of our project from the start was on human-centred design rather than the traditional space-centred approach. In other words, making sure the environment is built around the needs of its users rather than expecting them to adapt to the workplace.

In order to find out what employees actually want in this new era of working, we held a series of workshops with our workforce. Altogether, we ran around 150 sessions to make sure we really understood how they work in today's environment and what they need in order to achieve more.

This is a big part of the open source culture we've created at Tieto. It's one based around the idea of 'open ears, open mind, open actions and open doors', which promotes increased transparency, challenges old ways of working and focuses on outcomes, not processes.

Communication, concentration, collaboration and chilling-out

What we have implemented is a so called  ‘activity based workplace’ environment. In this environment we have dedicated spaces for key tasks and/or activities. In an activity based workplace environment the focus is on activities not hierarchies.

This is a multifunctional environment with dedicated spaces for key tasks So, for example, if a worker needs to host a collaborative brainstorming session, there are spaces available that are tailored to these activities, while if they need to get their head down and really focus on a project, there are concentration areas where they can do just that.

A key element of Tieto's new Keilalahti Campus is the lack of any dedicated desks for individual workers. Instead, the building relies 100 per cent on desk sharing, with a clean desk policy in place to ensure this can be achieved without any disruption. In fact, the space has a ratio of 1.7 employees per workspace, which makes the best use of space for the 1,200 employees based in first phase of the campus.

We also created a hub for use by our partners, customers and colleagues, in order to help innovate and co-create new ideas and experiences. This helps add value to our building, our business and our brand.

This therefore turns our Tieto Keilalahti Campus into an activity-based environment, in which where you work and how you go through the day is based around what you want to achieve. It also supports the open source culture by encouraging collaboration and ensuring strong communication between all the building's users.

But getting the right space is just the start of how we're transforming the working environment. We're also embracing innovative use of data to learn more about our workspace and make sure employees always get the best user experience from our headquarters. Find out how in my next blog!

Read more about data-driven businesses and unwrap the opportunities of the future data-driven world

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