The most significant incentive to working at the office is the location – Sponda’s new office embodies high-quality design and the future of face-to-face work
When Sponda, a professional in the rental and development of premises, decided to implement a project to change its own premises, it was clear that the new office should serve as a first-class example of the real estate forerunner’s premises. ‘The central location of the office and the services nearby are essential attractions that invite the employees to the office,’ says Christian Hohenthal, CEO of Sponda.
Hybrid work has brought challenges to the management of many companies and the building of a corporate culture. Although the ways of working have become more diverse, it is not possible to achieve similar face-to-face meetings remotely made possible by working at an office, facilitating professional discussions and the creation of personal ties. Companies are therefore constantly considering how to attract employees to the office.
One of the most significant attraction factors is the location of the office. Companies are seeking increasingly central locations with excellent transport connections and nearby services that make daily life easier. A wide range and high quality of restaurants and services, as well as easy accessibility attract employees to the office and make city centres alluring for companies.
The trend for companies is to invest in the comfort of the premises in a completely different way than before.
‘The current trend in all European capitals is that there definitely is a strong demand for premises located in city centres. Office space utilisation rates in the centre of Helsinki are about 50–80%, while on the outskirts of the city the utilisation rate can be only 20-40 percent. The central location of the office is an important factor when considering how to invest in employees and build a corporate culture,’ says Christian Hohenthal, CEO of Sponda.
Being physically present creates a community
When you spend time together in the office, it is easier to have spontaneous encounters, create emotional connections and strengthen a vibrant corporate culture as the result. This has a positive impact on the success of the entire organisation.
‘The trend for companies is to invest in the comfort of the premises in a completely different way than before. Studies have shown that working at the office promotes employee well-being and a sense of belonging in a way that cannot be achieved by working completely remotely,’ says Joanna Laajisto, founder and creative director of Studio Joanna Laajisto, who was responsible for the interior architecture of Sponda’s new premises.
Above all, we wanted to create spaces that inspire collaboration and the exchange of ideas
Therefore, the basis for the design of Sponda’s new premises was a modern, inspiring work environment that supports the wellbeing and communal spirit of the employees.
‘Above all, we wanted to create spaces that inspire collaboration and the exchange of ideas, and also serve as an inspiring example for our customers who are planning to renovate their premises. First and foremost, the premises are designed for people. We wanted to enable collaboration and innovation between different teams even better – our new office does not have permanent workstations, for example, but we have designed spaces for teamwork and joint sparring for this purpose, and cutting-edge technology supports the organisation of functional hybrid meetings,’ says Hohenthal.
In the video below, see how Sponda, a professional of business premises, succeeded in its own office move:
Homeliness, sustainable choices and strong expertise
The heart of Sponda’s new office is the ‘Town Hall’ located on the fourth floor. Consisting of a living room and an open kitchen, it encourages spontaneous encounters and can also accommodate larger groups of people.
‘Town Hall and the entrance lounges emphasise homeliness with the chosen furniture, textiles and decorative lighting. The colour palette is warm and natural, and the materials were chosen to bring interesting textures and patterns to the premises. In the conference rooms and workspaces, we wanted to emphasise Sponda’s strong expertise and professionalism, for example with plaid patterns on carpets which resemble the fabric of a classic suit,’ says Laajisto about the choices made for the new office.
The new facilities also demonstrate Sponda’s commitment to sustainable and high-quality choices. The starting point was to preserve as much of the original material as possible, as well as to recycle what already exists: for example, furniture from Sponda’s old office has been re-upholstered, and almost all new furniture is rented instead of purchased. In addition, interior architectural choices have been made to stand the test of time in terms of both physical use and looks. Sustainability has also been taken into account in the premises’ energy solutions, as all the energy used in the office property is renewable.
When the location, different working methods, the visual elements and sustainability are taken into account comprehensively, the end result are facilities the employees really want to come to.
‘I am very happy that our new office supports our new, even more communal way of working in the best possible way. Our new HQ embodies today’s cutting-edge design and quality, and also serves as inspiration for our customers who are designing their own solutions for their premises. The result could not be better,’ rejoices Hohenthal.
Five office trends
Sponda lists five office space criteria, which are now highlighted in companies’ office premises plans and space choices.
1. Cozy meeting places
Offices are created as meeting places where employees, teams and partners can meet, ideate, develop and have fun together. Attractive and comfortable lounge, meeting and event spaces are implemented in the premises.
2. Space for hybrid work
Companies are now looking for high-quality offices that support a hybrid work model and are easily adaptable as the company’s needs change. The premises must be modern, efficient and flexible.
3. Central location and easy accessibility
The importance of the location of the premises has become even more significant. The central location offers employees easy accessibility by public transport, bike or car. With a first-class location, companies also want to increase their brand value.
4. Versatile and high-quality local services
Companies invest more and more in the services of their premises and the smoothness of everyday life. The central location of the office with versatile restaurant, shopping and leisure services make everyday life easier for employees and increases their well-being.
5. Sustainable premises
Companies’ ESG strategies are emphasized in office space selections, and sustainability has become an important selection criterion. The premises’ energy-efficient solutions, the use of renewable energy and environmental certifications are key prerequisites.