A Modern member-centric organisation, starting from the workplace
In the autumn of 2018, Agile Work set out to implement a project aimed at renewing TEK's workplace in a member-centric manner and improving the visitor and customer experience. As a result, a workplace pilot was created. Based on the results obtained from the pilot, the planning began for the definitive facilities of TEK.
Facilities to match activities
How to develop customer experience and services to better meet the needs of members? TEK took up this challenge and set out to reform its workplace and culture. TEK has developed and modernized its services in recent years and it was wanted to be visible in the premises as well. The Members First- thinking guides TEK's operations, which should also be reflected in the spatial solutions. An important goal was to improve visitor and customer experience. In addition, efforts were made to create a workplace that strengthens interaction and improves employee experience as well as well-being at work.
HVAC renovation as an accelerator of change
The idea for the change had already been brewing in the TEK Insinöörit & Ekonomit- building in Pasila. In the past, small experiments and pilots had been carried out, but the major change was accelerated by the HVAC renovation decision made on the property.
Initially, it was necessary to validate the real spatial requirement: will the employees stay in their own rooms, move to an activity based office, use a combination of the two models, and how much open space would be needed for different member events?
The aim was to optimize the use of space and move activities from two floors to one. It was decided to implement a pilot space on the 7th floor, where the facilities, furniture, new working methods and work culture could be tested in practice. The pilot space would also serve as a partial evacuation space as the 9th-floor renovation progresses.
“The space that served as a pilot will be rented out after the project, so it was designed to be flexible in order to make renting out easy,” says Esa Santamäki from Agile Work.
Gaining real insights through employee engagement
Because the change was implemented in an expert organization, it was essential for success to involve people in the change and create a real insights of the needs and aspirations of the users. How did customers and members feel about arriving at TEK's premises? What were the challenges in the current facilities?
During the definition phase, Agile Work conducted eight in-depth interviews to gain a comprehensive understanding of current work practices, challenges, aspirations, and needs. In addition, an employee experience workshop, a Design Sprint workshop for all staff, and an office rules workshop for pilot floor users were facilitated. During the project, Agile Work also conducted an evaluation and observation of the current workplace and organized information sessions for employees.
From needs assessment to design
With TEK, a comprehensive workplace transformation was implemented, during which Agile Work was responsible for the workplace concept, budgeting, project and change management, setting goals and guidelines all the way to the designing of the final workplace.
“ Together with the customer, we set out to design what TEK could look like in the future. We wanted to create a space that would be easy to enter. The space should be uniting and bringing people together. The pilot made it possible to try out a new open space that would be available to everyone, as well as new ways of working. The best part of the pilot was that we were able to gather feedback from users about the functionality of the facilities, ”describes Ida Broms, interior architect at Agile Work.
Virtual reality as part of workplace design
A significant part of Agile Work's agile workplace design is the Digital First- approach. Change in the workplace is always a big and complex process, but Agile Work aims to make it as simple and accessible as possible. The designs for the actual space were presented to the employees in a VR workshop. Virtual reality gives users a concrete view of the future space and helps to outline the changes and functionality of the spaces. The project also utilized a digital workspace, through which the users of the workplace and the core working group were able to share their needs and comment on the outputs visibly throughout the project.
New solutions and illustrative VR
According to Kati Johansson from TEK, Agile Work provided solutions that would not otherwise have been thought of, and Virtual Reality helped to outline future workplace and helped communicate the planned changes to employees.
“ The transition from a partly traditional office model to a new kind of workplace is a big and welcomed change that supports member centricity, the sought-after organizational culture and community spirit. Naturally, we are also implementing our environmental goals here. From the implemented 7th floor pilot with Agile Work, we have gained both functional evacuation facilities and, above all, the necessary experience for 9th-floor design. From the very beginning, we have worked closely and fruitfully with the designer Ida Broms. She listens carefully to the customer and offers solutions that we would not have invented ourselves. 3D modelling of the premises and VR tours have been a very illustrative and functional way of perceiving and communicating the future workplace to employees. ”
- Kati Johansson, TEK