SuomiLog in:

Smart Workplace Sessions #9: Work-Near-Home: The Case for Distributed Workplaces

Nov 1, 2021 1:13:58 PM

On October 27th, 2021, we spoke with Antti Tuomela and George Horhota about the sharing economy in the workplace - this time around office spaces, "anywhere working" and other alternate workplace strategies that can improve employee well-being and productivity - as well as the company bottom line. We discussed how to take action towards building more sustainable societies by creating "15-minute cities" through networks of local, accessible and professional workspaces closer to home.

"Working Near Home" (WNH), is an alternative and complementary remote workplace arrangement to "Working From Home" (WFH), and to working traditionally from the central HQ office (WFO) - that is growing rapidly in popularity. In our most recent webinar, Antti Tuomela, CEO & Co-Founder at Spacent, and George Horhota, CEO at Spacent Canada, spoke about the business case and the real figures and numbers that result from empowering employees to work more flexibly, in a hybrid way - across several locations.

This was our ninth session of a series of workplace talks, where industry experts discuss the benefits that flexible work and smarter flexible workplace solutions can provide to employers, employees, the environment and society in general. The following is a webinar recording with the discussions hosted by Pontus Kihlman, interspersed with polls and presentations held by Maija Patjas.

To learn more about the entire webinar series and review recordings of past webinars, click here. 

A few key points

During the dialogue, George elaborates on what 18+ months of “the Great Remote Work Experiment” during lock downs has taught us so far, and how that has changed the skills, behaviors and needs of employees - and what the pain points were during that time. Antti then explains how he sees the future of an added  "in-between" option, to the ecosystem of workplace locations: working near home. He also addresses the dilemma of a top-down approach to space use, mandated and fixed “team days” and “office days” (leading to a peak utilization on Wednesdays, and inefficient space use at other times - a big waste).

So what can 3rd places (coworking spaces, flex offices, satellite locations, hotels, university campuses, event spaces etc.) provide to employees, landlords, and real estate managers with inefficient space use? The opportunity is essence this: "The Great Redistribution of Workspace" – entering the sharing economy and “workspace-ecosystem-as-a-subscription". People want the flexibility and choice of working anywhere between the traditional central HQ office, home and somewhere in between, closer to home or to customers and partners.


"Office space needs to move to an on-demand, á la carte model of offering a variety of spaces closer to where people are", George Horhota explains. Illustrated through a simulation calculation and KPI's of a large enterprise located in Toronto, Antti and George make the business case for reduction in expenses of household budgets, commuting times, carbon emissions - as well as the office footprint and real estate costs of the employers. "Gone are the days of 5 or 10 year fixed leases. Landlords need to embrace hybrid work, and be part of the solution. This is now like the service business."

Finally, “working near home” will have enormous impacts on the greater society at large, and on our biggest challenge – the climate. Entering into the sharing economy of office space, and adopting a flexible hybrid workplace strategy, means being part of the solution and not the problem.

SWS_session 10_banner_website

Next webinar on November 10: Flexibility & Choice as a Government Workplace Strategy

In the next webinar we talk about responsible management of real estate assets, while empowering workers to productively create the best possible public services effectively.  

We'll be talking to Kasper Fabritius (Head of Solution Sales, Sales and Marketing Manager at Senate Properties), who as part of the management team, has been actively involved with renewing and future-proofing state's real estate strategies for a post-pandemic digital world. We'll take closer look at a case study in workplace strategy in the public sector, and at how multi-faceted objectives all tie into a future workplace - based on flexibility and choice. To learn more SIGN UP HERE.

To follow our Smart Workplace Sessions series, visit:

Optimaze Worksense Smart Office Live Demos 

Is hybrid working or a safer reopen of the office on your agenda? Book a seat a one of our free product demo sessions with Optimaze. Our team will demonstrate how to use the Optimaze Worksense smart office solution to manage capacities, indoor air and more.

Optimaze at a glance

Who we are, what we do: We offer software and data services for professionals to develop, optimize and manage the built environment. We empower real estate professionals lead the hybrid workplace and to make complex fact-based decisions, by using real-time data, workplace analytics and SaaS-based software - to optimize costs, space needs, employee experience and environmental impact.

Spacent and the speakers:

Dr. Antti Tuomela has 20 years of experience in real estate industry, consulting and business development. Before his career as CEO & Co-Founder of Spacent he was CEO of Aalto University Properties. He was responsible for the university campus investment program, campus digitalisation and joint City Science research with MIT Media Lab. Prior to his career at Aalto University, he held several leadership positions at Newsec and senior positions at Senate Properties.

George Horhota, B.A., J.D., ICD.D, leads the expansion of Spacent to the Canadian marketplace as the CEO of Spacent Canada, based in Toronto. George is an entrepreneurial executive with a passion for leading growth and advancing new ways of working, which he has been working with for over many decades. George specializes in leading workplace innovation, multilocational workplaces such as campuses and co-work centers, corporate development and change management. He is passionate about developing learning environments and campuses, and inspires teams to apply curiosity to uncovering opportunities and solving problems, eg. by serving on boards of directors with a focus on corporate strategy.

Recent Posts