Prioritizing our work environment is a no-brainer

With the ambition of further improving conditions for employee performance and a strengthened internal culture, a major workplace project has been launched in the Finnish offices in Espoo and Turku. Also, as sketches for new workspaces are being mapped out, all employees are encouraged to take part in deciding how they should be organized, according to Timo Harju. 

As sponsor and owner of the new Best Place to Work project, busy times lie ahead for Timo Harju, Head of Sales and Service at If in Finland. Over the next two years, the common areas of the Turku office will be redrawn from scratch, while the approximately 650 If employees currently working in Espoo will move to completely new premises in the Helsinki region – all to improve the conditions for favorable working environments and a strengthened internal culture.

‘We’ve said that we want to make If the best place to work at in Finland and, with this new initiative, we’re really giving ourselves the opportunity to make that happen. We’ve also got a unique opportunity to tune into our employees’ wishes, and channel their needs and preferences directly into the designing of the new spaces’, says Timo Harju.

One of the reasons for the choice of location for the new premises in Espoo has been the distribution of current employees in the Helsinki metropolitan area, to minimise travel time. When it comes to the modelling of the new workspaces, everyone is encouraged to get involved in making suggestions about what is important for the project managers to consider.

‘Since September, we have already had lively forums in Viima, where our project teams have been involved in daily discussions with employees about the kind of preferences, we all have for our new surroundings’, adds Timo Harju.

For the new Espoo office, the aim is also to make the premises WELL-certified – a premium standard for green, healthy buildings and office spaces. This will place high demands on such considerations as air quality, noise levels and amounts of daylight.

‘Ensuring a sound and healthy working environment is essential for both the well-being and performance of our employees, and thus for If’s value-creation in general. To put issues such as these high up our priority list is a no-brainer’, concludes Timo Harju.