Martela house renewal

Helsinki, Finland 2014
Interior design: Tiina Myller, Päivi Pentikäinen and Maarit Vuori, Martela Oyj

Martela practices what it preaches at Martela House

With the latest improvements implemented at Martela House, it has turned into a living example of Martela’s Inspiring Office concept put into practice with the Martela Lifecycle® model.

Martela introduced activity-based working at Martela House two years ago. However, the developments did not stop there, as changes in the organisation, working practices and attitudes are constantly shaping the workplace. The workplace must sufficiently support various types of knowledge workers. Martela surveyed its employees’ daily activities, prepared a plan of the changes required according to the maintenance phase of its lifecycle approach and got down to work.

As a result of the improvements, around 60 per cent of the knowledge workers at Martela House gave up their fixed workstations and now use a freely selected working area. Martela Dynamic technology allows employees arriving at work to check for free workstations on a screen at the info desk and find out where their colleagues are sitting. This same technology makes it possible to measure the utilisation rate of workstations. Martela Dynamic workstations remember employees’ personal settings and adjust the workstation according to these. The workstations can also be programmed to notify employees when they have been sitting for too long.

Storage solutions were also updated, and small personal lockers are now used for storing personal belongings. Specially designed office bags are used to carry items needed during the day, such as a laptop and mobile phone. Dynamic storage solutions offer temporary storage wherever it is needed. The workplace was rearranged also in many other ways to better fit the changing working habits. For example, the number of small meeting rooms for one-to-one meetings was increased.

A better place to work

These changes mean that Martela House is now better adapted to the requirements of work and individual needs. Each employee can select a place to work that best suits the activity at hand, which means that the entire building is now, in fact, one large workspace. This enables more flexible co-operation between various teams. There is improved information flow between different functions, and there are now even more working spaces that allow employees to focus on their work without interruptions. The changes have transformed Martela House into an even more diverse and pleasant place to work. The overall space used or the maintenance costs didn’t change, but the business impact from increased efficiency can be close to a million euros per year.

Improvements never stop

With further developments in 2015, it will be possible to track down the occupancy of not only the workstations but also all the other working areas like meeting rooms, phone booths and different types of privacy furniture. This will improve the working experience even further. It will also provide new tools for facility management, as there will be a real-time view of the utilization rates of all areas in the office enabling flexible adjustments to the changing needs.

According to Martela’s user experience survey, November 2014

89% feel that they can concentrate better
72% feel that they’re working more efficiently
68% feel that their well-being at work has increased