Lassila & Tikanoja’s headquarters moved from Lassila to Valimotie in the neighbouring district of Pitäjänmäki at the start of the year. Although the distance between the old and new offices is short, the change brought by the new multioffice environment is great.
“We wanted to find premises that reflect our corporate culture and are located in a district that meets our needs. However, the greatest change for us was the introduction of the new multioffice concept, which means that most of us—including the President and CEO—no longer have a fixed workspace, says Tutu Wegelius-Lehtonen, Chief Procurement Officer at L&T, who was in charge of the relocation project.The Tikanpesä office has six floors. Four of these are occupied by L&T. The company also has access to the public space on the first floor, with its spacious and cosy lobby, reception desk and restaurant. The old office in Lassila did not have lunch facilities on the premises.
According to Wegelius-Lehtonen, the new facilities have been well received. They make employees approach their work from new angles.
For example, the company encourages its employees to work remotely, where appropriate and possible in view of their function and role.
The new open-plan office has already improved internal communication, even between the members of the Group Executive Board.
“In an open-plan office, it is easier to discuss things and perform tasks as a team. Working becomes more efficient and feels more rewarding when we can hold an ad hoc meeting in the corridor to discuss things that previously would have required convening a proper meeting with all the related e-mail hassle,” Wegelius-Lehtonen says.
The interior design was based on the company’s brand
The office building dates back to 1983, and it was fully renovated before the new tenants moved in. Because L&T wanted its headquarters to reflect the company and because it also operates in the spatial design sector, the tenant decided to design and furnish its own premises, while Sponda—the landlord—provided the development services.
“We wanted to make sure that the premises are suitable for their users and support the ways in which we use them. The underlying idea was to use the L&T brand as much as possible. The brand colours are bright and cheerful, and the company places a high value on recycling. We also wanted the office to have a slightly homely feel to it,” says Mari Järvenpää, Service Manager and Interior Architect at L&T.
In addition to the open-plan office, the building has spaces for quiet work and teamwork, as well as social premises for relaxation, coffee breaks, lunch or non-conventional work.
Järvenpää says that the starting point of the spatial design was functionality—the premises must accommodate many different tasks. The design was backed up by survey results on the employees’ behaviour, working methods and spatial needs. According to Järvenpää, many of the employees had requested small meeting spaces for 2–4 people. The new Tikanpesä office includes many such “mini meeting” rooms.
Järvenpää names adaptability as the most important element of modern offices—the way the space is used might change daily or from year to year. Adaptability benefits both users and property owners.
The property was thoroughly modernised during the massive renovation project, particularly its entrance and lobby area.
“The renovated lobby looks notably fresher thanks to the bright lights and colours. We made the space feel more homely by using brightly coloured sofas and other recycled pieces of furniture and decoration. I believe that the slightly homely look of our headquarters will make us more approachable,” Järvinen says.
Text: Nina Garlo-Melkas