Trainers’ House wanted an office that solidly communicates the company’s values, corporate culture and expertise to customers and partners. The company found the office of its dreams in Itämerentalo.
The lift stops on the fifth floor of the Itämerentalo building in Ruoholahti, and the doors open to an industrial-style office heaven.
You can see wood, concrete, design furniture, plants and black walls and, beyond the windows extending from floor to ceiling, a magnificent view of the sea. Guests are warmly welcomed by a receptionist behind a small wooden desk.
“Our office is part of our marketing strategy."
One of the key persons behind this impressive office completed in 2018 is the company’s Content Manager Elina Yli-Kyyny. According to her, the entire project was guided by a clear goal: the company wanted to use the new office as a type of media.
“Our office is part of our marketing strategy. We wanted to build premises that would enable us to openly communicate our values and corporate culture as well as promote our activities and expertise to our visitors,” explains Yli-Kyyny.
Visited by hundreds of corporate decision-makers each month, the office needed to be easily accessible.
In addition to Yli-Kyyny, a relocation team consisting of various staff members was in charge of the final interior design.
Itämerentalo swept the employees off their feet
When hunting for the perfect location, the company was already considering the customer perspective. Visited by hundreds of corporate decision-makers each month, the office needed to be easily accessible and provide sufficient room for parking.
The company wanted the office to serve visitors as follow-up work and rental premises, if necessary, which meant that the space had to be much larger than what would be needed by the company’s own personnel.
The sea views of the Itämerentalo building owned by Sponda and located in Ruoholahti were love at first sight for the employees. Found to be ideal, the site was renovated from floor to ceiling to fulfil the needs of Trainers’ House.
“We have to thank Sponda for being ready to invest so considerably in the premises and our changes. One of our goals was to use the premises to bring two business units together and create open spaces for people to interact. That meant pulling down quite a few walls,” says Yli-Kyyny with a laugh.
The Content Manager also praises Sponda for taking excellent care of the property.
“We are also quite proactive as a company, and we appreciate taking action sooner rather than later and assuming responsibility for more than just the immediate matters of your own company of those of your customers.”
Openness throws light on various jobs
One of the goals of having an open space was to show the customers that the entire organisation is there to serve them. Openness was also used to highlight the employees’ career and growth opportunities.
“Students working for us part-time can now witness the work of our coaches or change consultants up close, for example. We value career development as various roles and management positions in our company are often filled internally. Relaxed, open spaces encouraging people to interact also help new recruits become integrated with the work community,” explains Yli-Kyyny.
The company wanted to use an open space to show the customers that the entire organisation is there to serve them.
The Content Manager adds that the relocation provided a great opportunity to update the company’s responsibility policies.
Hailed as the most responsible property sector company in Europe, Sponda offered great support in responsibility-related matters.
“The ecological aspect was emphasised in all procurements. In our furniture choices, we embraced reuse and repurposing, abandoned disposable products and invested in recycling. We also ordered meeting and coaching materials made from recycled materials for our customers in order to externally communicate our ideology,” lists Yli-Kyyny.
Offices optimised for the business at hand
One of the key goals in the spatial design was to support the energy levels of the employees. Workplace ernogomics were improved by acquiring more electric desks and standing desk mats, and wall bars were installed in the coaching space to promote exercise.
"In addition to inspiring and functional premises, our employees appreciate the range of services in the neighbourhood."
Trainers’ House wanted to give employees the opportunity for quiet work by designing several conference rooms intended for internal use. The company also invested in optimal acoustics by opting for a fitted carpet and soft materials in the working spaces.
“We have received excellent feedback from our employees. In addition to inspiring and functional premises, they appreciate the range of services in the neighbourhood. There’s a fitness centre across the road, a restaurant in the building and various lunch spots nearby, and the area is easily accessible with public transportation and why not even city bikes in the summer!”
According to Yli-Kyyny, the year-old premises have fulfilled all expectations.
“Both the employees and the customers finally get to use premises optimised for our particular range of business operations. The success is reflected in employees who enjoy spending time at the office, the social media posts about the place, and customers who love to stop by and organise their own events at our premises.”
Sponda’s tips for renovating your office
- The schedule of a comprehensive renovation considerably depends on how well the property’s technological and structural characteristics are identified and anticipated.
- Use designers and contractors with experience of the same property or similar projects. The owner of the property can usually tell you the best people for the work.
- A clear division of labour makes the process much more efficient. The owner of the property is primarily responsible for any changes to the premises and the price of the work is included in the rent. The interior design and furnishing may be carried out by the owner or the tenant.
- Major savings are possible in the planning stage. Think very carefully about the type of work to be performed in each space; this helps optimise the soundscape or acoustics of each space, for example, without the need to set up all the features in every space.
- Decide on any special materials and glass element solutions as early as possible as the ordering times for custom-made products may take up most of the time scheduled for the renovation.
- A renovation provides a great opportunity for updating the company’s responsibility policies. A responsible property owner can provide advice on how to use spatial design to promote the sustainability of your corporate culture and utilise as many recycled materials in the change as possible.
- Set up a specific schedule layout for the project’s follow-through with the owner. Depending on the scope and area of work, comprehensive office renovations take about two to six months.