Work Environment Development Day seized current challenges and future possibilities

UKI Arkkitehdit believes that people are the heart of work communities and workspaces are the home of the work community. What challenges do companies face in the world after pandemic restrictions and what are future work environments like? These issues were brainstormed and discussed during the Work Environment Development Day, arranged by UKI.

”Do you know how many hours we spend at work in our lifetime”, construction architect Heidi Rytkönen asked the guests at the Work Environment Development Day, arranged by UKI Arkkitehdit. 

After a few slightly underestimated guesses, Heidi told the answer: the lifetime working hours of a Finn amount to 50,000 on average. So it’s not insignificant where, how and with whom you spend your workdays. 

UKI Arkkitehdit has launched a work environment design service, and a breakfast event on that subject attracted customers and partners in Helsinki and Oulu. Architects Hanna Hilmola and Milla Rusanen were showcasing the service in Helsinki, and Päivi Ahola and Hanna Kangas in Oulu, in addition to Heidi Rytkönen

In Helsinki, the event attracted especially representatives of real estate owners and workspace specialists running workspace projects in big companies. Also prospective collaborators visited the event. 

”All enrolled visitors showed up in the event. They were not in a hurry; they wanted to discuss and hear what we had to say. Visitors were interested in our own workspaces, especially in the 3D Cave visualisation space and the Christmas decorations search game implemented there. Whoops of joy sounding from the Cave revealed that it was fun”, Milla Rusanen and Hanna Hilmola say. 

In Oulu, UKI customers and professionals studying and training occupational well-being participated the two hours of active discussion and brainstorming. 

”Our workspaces were recently renovated in cooperation with Heidi’s team. I came to hear more about how the world changes and how to make employees comfortable in the future”, said Kaija Matikkala, Creative Lead at marketing agency Luova Työmaa. 

Balancing challenges and possibilities

UKIn suunnittelijat haastoivat vieraat fläppitaulun ääreen miettimään tämän hetken työympäristöjen haasteita sekä tulevaisuuden odotuksia ja mahdollisuuksia. Aktiivinen keskustelu laajeni til

Designers at UKI invited guests to the flipchart to reflect challenges in current work environments and future expectations and possibilities. Active discussion expanded from spatial planning all the way to psychological, behaviouristic and managerial issues. There were many shared issues to discuss, and most of the surfaced topics concerned everyone. 

Identified challenges included communality and management in hybrid and remote work, as well as grouping and maintaining corporate culture. How to ensure that silent knowledge is transmitted? And what is the ergonomic quality of workstations at home? What are the rules in hybrid work or are rules needed at all? 

The future seemed to imply virtual workspaces, multi-location work and a combination of individuality and communality. The discussions also explored how the discourse on work environment development revolves predominantly around knowledge work. What possibilities does work environment design offer to those lines of business and workplaces that were not severely afflicted by the pandemic? 

The way of working is at a turning point, and the world around us is changing. Companies face new challenges in work satisfaction and implementing work environments, and studies and practices from a few years back don’t solve them. 

”A company has just moved to new and well-functioning premises, but because they were designed before the corona, the premises were too big from the start”, Hanna Hilmola gives an example of the rate of change. 

Our strengths include understanding space dimensioning and designing work environments that support different work methods, and we can also tell the customer what time- and location-independent work means just now.

Heidi Rytkönen, Construction Architect, UKI Arkkitehdit

The organising teams think that the events left such a positive aftertaste that they will be continued in Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Oulu.

”Keskustelu yhteisen pöydän ääressä oli juuri sitä, mitä vieraat toivoivat. Kaikilla on samankaltaisia t”Discussion around a common table is precisely what the guests wanted. Everyone has similar workspace challenges and changes all around. Here we can help and, together with end users, design appropriately sized workspaces that have the company look and feel”, Milla Rusanen and Hanna Hilmola explain.

UKI Arkkitehtien työympäristön kehityspäivät 2022 workshoppia varten valmisteltu pohjakaavio