1. Once upon a time there was a company that wasn't doing so well
The operational result was poor and the Management Team was evaluating different options for a turn around. The talented employees of the company simply weren't as productive as they should have been. The managers saw that the employees were unhappy and they feared some of the best employees would start looking for new opportunities elsewhere if the situation would not be fixed.
2. Seeking advice
A manager from another, more successfull company shared his advice. He believed that the secret to success is in good company culture. This in turn, is based on taking care of individuals, participating employees and collaboration. Martela's model for the entire workplace lifecycle works well as a tool for this.
” We decided right from the beginning, it's all or nothing. We'll have no hierarchical arrangements. Everyone, absolutely everyone works in the same workspace. ”
Cecilia Westerholm Beer, Human Resources Director, Cybercom
3. Stressed out employees and missing passion
In the non-performing company the employees were all hard at work at their personal workstations. One was talking on the phone. Person next to him was preparing complicated documentation. The specialists were doing research in their private offices. A project manager was preparing a plan including budgeting. Everyone was working towards their personal goals. They were tired and stressed. Energetic spirit and enjoyment for work were nowhere to be seen.
" We get value from the workplace change through increasing employee satisfaction and wellbeing. Having more satisfied employees is inevitably reflected on our customers. Through that we naturally also aim for growth. "
Perttu Kulmala, Operations Manager, Solteq Oy
4. Help from a working culture change
It was necessary to get more enthusiasm, innovation and a good working spirit to the workplace. The company values, like taking care of the employee wellbeing should be evident in the office. The use of space should be improved. In order to support the culture change, a complete workplace change was started. All people using the premises were involved in the process.
" The best proof of success is the feedback we've received from our staff. For once, we're looking at things as a whole, not as fragmented, separate solutions. And it's also being done by professionals who do this for a living. "
Kimmo Lautanen, CEO, Mercantile Oy
5. Workplace Specialist's analysis and recommendations
A workplace specialist from Martela was called for help.
- People from diffrent functions were interviewed and workshops were held.
- Everyone working for the company was a given a chance to tell about their work and their needs.
- The key persons listed the strategic targets for the workplace change.
- The key performance indicators were set.
- The results were analysed.
- A workplace report based on the analyses was made for the company as well as a preliminary space plan.
With the information in the report the management learned a lot of new things about thier company and its staff.
They understood that the private offices of the managers enhanced the hierarchy and inefficiency. The meeting room usage rate was measured to be only 23% and at the same time there were reported to be too few meeting rooms. The workstations utilisation rate was 47% and most people were not satisfied in the placement of their dedicated workstations.
6. Properly made transformation and efficient change management
When the transformation was about to beging, the management started to worry. Is the change too big? Will everybody be on board? Will the staff learn to operate in the new workplace? Will the employees be distressed when they will have to give up their dedicated workstations?
Luckily, the worries were unfounded. Workshops were held were the employees brainstormed together how they should best operate in the new workplace. It was taken care of that everyone knew what was happening, when and how.
Instead of the fixed workstations the employees would have the freedom to choose the most suitable place for each activity during their working day. In the future, everyone would have more power and responsibility regarding their personal productivity.
7. The positive effects of the workplace transformation
Half a year later the office was filled with groups of people engaged in happy conversations as well as people working at workstations in the non-distractive areas. The phonebooths and the meeting modules with glass walls were all in active use. One could almost see the information flow and collaboration between people and departments everywhere. In the quiet room budgets were being made in a non-diturbed flow. At the same time the completion time of projects was significantly shorter than before.
The management was much more aware of what was happening in the company. The management team work was more efficient than ever before. The talented employees were able to utilise their skills better. Everyone was feeling enthusiastic and well. Even the customers were giving positive feedback. For the first time, the entitre staff was working together towards common goals. The effects of the workplace change could also be seen on the bottom line.
" We have 30% less square meters but through efficient use of space we have all we need. The sense of unity has strengthened. The biggest advantage is surely the increased efficiency both time wise and financially. "
Nathalie Siivola, Administrative Manager, Enfo Oyj
The best workplaces improve co-operation, help focus and when needed, also to relax and re-charge. Above all, well functioning workplaces create wellbeing and productivity to the entire working community. Happy employees make the winning companies.
The best workplaces can make Mondays feel like Fridays.
Read our CEO Matti Rantaniemi's thoughts and experiences about workplaces for managent.