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A moment of change?

The exceptional circumstances of spring 2020 have taught people new ways of working and will shape working in the future. In work environments, premises are used in a variety of ways and the solutions provide an opportunity for innovation and working together.

Studies support the transition to multi-purpose offices and partial remote working

According to a number of studies,* only about 40 to 70 per cent of staff are present at the office at the same time. Some of them work in meeting rooms and conference rooms, in which case workstations are under-used. Workstations are used for an average of 55 to 60 per cent of working time. According to one study, before the exceptional coronavirus situation 23 per cent of office workers worked remotely regularly or part of the time. During the exceptional situation, about 76 per cent of workers switched completely to remote working. In many companies, the corresponding figure is as high as 100 per cent. Remote working will account for an average of 30 per cent of working time in the future.

*Rapal 2020, government working time barometer 2019, Isku remote working survey, Yle/Taloustutkimus remote working survey 2020

Back to the office after the exceptional period – a return to the old ways or a transition to new ones?

The exceptional circumstances of spring 2020 have given rise to the following ideas regarding work environments:

  • The need to ensure a safe working environment
  • Increasing the distance between people working together at the same time
  • Increasing the amount of remote working
  • Reducing office time
  • Personal workstations are under-used

--> Assessment of needs and goals is needed

The exceptional situation promotes the unlearning of old practices and the learning of new methods of information management. During the long period of remote working, new working methods have been adopted, and the best of these methods are worth continuing. There has been a major transformation in the use of office space.

On average, office working time is generally divided as follows:

About 70 per cent of working time is accounted for by individual work About 25 per cent of working time is accounted for by collaborative work About 5 per cent of working time is break time

The traditional office model: 1. The use of facilities is divided according to status. 2. The use of facilities is divided according to team ranking.

Multi-space offices: The use of facilities is divided according to the nature of the work.

The customer’s needs and goals guide the change

The growth of the organisation or the need to save on costs of premises often creates a need for a change of facilities. The increased amount of remote work allows for more efficient space use of space and higher utilisation rate through shared workstations. A growing number of staff can work in the same space.

A shared work environment and increased amount of remote working together enable new kinds of space solutions, e.g. meeting spaces, quiet spaces or group workspaces.

In shared spaces, there is an increased amount of spontaneous interactions. Interaction and social networking promote a sense of community. Interactions promote information sharing and collaboration.

A change of space alone is not enough – it is also necessary to adopt new ways of working and to create common rules.

”Multi-purpose offices offer a better opportunity to meet a company’s growth goals cost-effectively. Dividing workstations and spaces increases their utilisation rate. At the same time, interaction between different categories of staff is also increased”, ISKU service manager Tarja Jäntti-Eade

Tyo2020 muutoksen hetki

Download Work 2020, a guide on how to organize working environment after the exceptional situation

It is already evident that the need for safety and versatility will increase in the future. As remote working is becoming more common, it opens up new opportunities for development - would it be a right time to modernize working environment into a multi-space office?