Helen Ltd, a leading energy producer with more than 400 000 customers, uses Optimaze software for managing its office premises. The energy company is also developing its work environment with support from Rapal.
Helen Ltd maintains the information for its office premises in the Optimaze system. The software was initially taken into use for managing rental spaces located in Sähkötalo: Sähkötalo’s surface area of approximately 30,000 m² is divided between 23 tenants in addition to Helen. Since then, the system has been taken into use more widely for maintaining the rental information of other offices as well.
Efficient use of office space
Besides property development, Helen also develops its working facilities and methods. Helen used Rapal’s Workplace Analysis service to investigate the efficiency of its space usage.
“The Workplace Analysis indicated that there is plenty of room for improvement in terms of using both working and meeting facilities,” says Helen’s Property Manager Kyösti Oasmaa. “Meeting facilities were not used efficiently: unnecessarily large spaces were reserved for meetings for unnecessarily long periods of time. The reservation calendar for meeting rooms was full even though the spaces were actually empty.”
Based on the workplace assessment, Helen started an extensive working environment development project with support from Rapal. The objective for developing the work environment is to make both the space usage and working more efficient.
“Alongside the development of the physical work environment is the development of remote work principles, among other things. We want to prepare common rules concerning remote work for everyone, as previously, the principles have been applied in various ways. Information related to remote work on the need of the personnel for office space can also be used when planning the use of facilities,” says Oasmaa.
Personnel to be involved in the development
When the decision to develop the work environment was made, Helen wanted to include its personnel as closely as possible in the project by launching a pilot in two units. Although the attitude was hesitant at first, dedication has changed as the project has proceeded: the personnel has eagerly participated in planning the change and new working methods have already become established as part of working at Helen to the extent to which changes have been made. In the course of changes, cooperation within the company will also improve.
“Units have usually worked in their own premises. Now, our objective is to construct shared rooms and recreational spaces, for example, so that people can meet each other and interaction between units becomes easier,” Oasmaa comments.
Although multi-space offices become more common also in Sähkötalo, it is important to Helen to provide their employees working facilities that are suitable for the needs and working style of each employee. The history of Sähkötalo also supports this objective.
“Sähkötalo is a protected building. Therefore, there are also office entities in the building that cannot be altered. The inevitable consequence of conservation objectives is that in Sähkötalo, there will continue to be spaces that vary to a great extent. This kind of rigidity is not only a challenge but also an opportunity as we can provide various kinds of facilities for various kinds of people. We will not be able to do away with individual workrooms, but for some employees, they could be the best solution.”
The development of the work environment is supported by the management, which guarantees that sensible changes will take place. Oasmaa believes that an operating method that has been found functional will also help Helen in upcoming work environment changes.
“The starting point for all kinds of development is the courage to take the first step. I believe that the systematics with which we have developed the work environment in Sähkötalo will change the way the whole company plans space usage in the future.”