Keilalahti, Espoo, Finland. It’s another gloomy February day, but thankfully Industrial PRIME is soon going to find some light and shelter. We are entering the new Tieto head office, where we have been invited to inspect the premises.
While we are waiting for the arrival of our guide for the day, we have a moment to look around the lobby on our own.
From the open space in the centre of the building, we can see all the way to the 8th floor, where teams of Tieto employees are having meetings. The walls and the ceiling are made of glass to allow plenty of natural light to pour in.
Dozens of people are coming and going around us, but we find ourselves focusing on one thing only: an impressive art installation hanging from the high ceiling and taking over the walls, too. It is absolutely marvellous.
“This is Tieto, visualized in the form of tens of thousands of individual LED lights,” we hear a voice tell from behind our backs.
It’s Tieto’s Facility Manager Mr Patrik Etelävuori. He continues to further explain the massive piece of art above our heads.
“The lights that are lit illustrate data received from Tieto’s various business units. It reflects the number of bus tickets sold, meals delivered, or anything else done using Tieto’s technology. People and data are the heart of the installation, and the lights demonstrate how the blood is flowing.”
Over the past few months, the Tieto staff has been gradually taking over the company’s new head office, officially known as Tieto Keilalahti Campus. Without any spoilers, we must say that workplaces don’t get much cooler than what we are about to discover. But before we begin our tour, let us find out how it all got started…
On the street level, Tieto’s new head office has a versatile lunch restaurant where business and pleasure mix perfectly. During their lunch break, people can get social or discuss their work.
Aiming for the Four Cs
The design process for Tieto’s new headquarters was kicked off in the summer of 2015, when it was official that Tieto was going to move from its headquarters in Helsinki to a new location in Espoo.
It soon became clear for the design team that they would need to steer their work to a completely new kind of direction. In November 2015, after initial planning had been going on for some months, that reality really kicked in.
“That’s when we began to really think, just what exactly is it that we want to create here,” recalls Etelävuori. “We soon decided to ditch the space-centred angle in favour of a more innovative and purely human-centred design approach.”
With this idea in mind, the design team started by finding out how the people at Tieto actually work, what kinds of employee profiles can be found, what expectations do the employees have towards different work spaces, and what do they actually need in order to achieve more.
“By doing that, we learned a great deal about what we should do differently,” confirms Etelävuori. “We now knew exactly to whom we were designing the new office and why. That was a crucial turning point.”
What followed was the adoption of the “Four Cs” principle that would combine collaboration, communication, concentration, and chilling out in a single package. By the look of things and based on what we’ve heard so far, the new Tieto head office really does seem like a creative, versatile place to work.
“Needless to say, the new office meant that the work environment of Tieto’s employees will change dramatically,” says Etelävuori. “And to be honest, both us and some of our employees had their concerns at first. Thankfully, the feedback so far has been super positive – people love it!”
Our host Patrik Etelävuori and Senior Communications Manager Jonna Peltola meet between floors during our tour. Jonna tells us that some years ago she worked in the very same building for Nokia. “There’s been a huge change around here since!”
At the Keilalahti office, intelligent, visualized data helps Tieto employees create their very own perfect work conditions.
There is a wide variety of work environments to choose from, and the decision is easy to make thanks to 6,000 sensors spread across the building and monitors on each floor showing what’s going on and where work space is available at any given moment.
Alternatively, employees can check the situation with their phones on the go, for example on their way to the office.
Want to find a perfect spot for a couple of hours of pure, uninterrupted concentration? Just check the map and see which of the private work stations are vacant. Or perhaps you need to host a spontaneous brainstorming session with your team? Again, the map will show you the way.
There are no desks dedicated for individual employees, and the desk-sharing ratio is a quite impressive 1.7: there are altogether 700 work stations for 1,200 employees.
Meanwhile, constant input of data concerning table utilization allows Tieto to learn more about user experiences and how space is actually used. Subsequently, further improvements to the office can be made based on the information.
At Tieto Keilalahti Campus, everything from space to user experience to sustainability has been carefully considered, and then considered once more. Many things have been brought to life in collaboration with prominent Finnish start-ups.
On every floor, Tieto’s employees are greeted by monitors such as this one. Thanks to them, they’ll stay up-to-date and know where to find their colleagues or a peaceful place to work. (As cool as it would be, the conference room G2.07 is not named after Industrial PRIME editor Tuomas Porkkala.)
During the entire project, about 150 workshop sessions were ran among Tieto staff and a myriad of views and visions were exchanged. Meanwhile, Etelävuori himself has been visiting dozens of offices around the world and keeping his eyes open for new ideas.
The current state of Keilalahti campus, version 2.0, is a fluent combination of human touch and the cutting-edge technology of its time.
But just how final is it really? When we tour the office, some places still look like work in progress, while Etelävuori seems to come up with new ideas for improvements in practically every space we step into.
“We are not finished, but the reason for that is not lack of effort, but rather the fact that the technology and tools to make our ultimate visions real do not yet exist,” he says. “Everything we have utilized here is based on the latest and most advanced technologies, and 2.0 is the furthest we could get for the time being.”
Etelävuori continues to point out that the solutions they have made with the use of space and furniture are planned in a way that they can be further developed as Tieto’s business and ways of working evolve. The real-time data about how space is used helps stay on the pulse.
That said, there is definitely a potential version 3.0 on the horizon. And as new tools, concepts, ways of working and technologies develop, further steps forward will be taken at a regular basis. Some aspects of the Keilalahti office will develop faster than others, while new and unexpected visions may emerge – all for the benefit of Tieto’s employees.
“I don’t think this place will ever be finished – nor should it be,” Etelävuori points out. “But one thing’s for sure: our office is only going to get better and better.”
Text and images by Industrial PRIME
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