Dec 14, 2016 Corporate blog

Open concept leads to open interaction

Juha Seppälä
Juha Seppälä
Project Director, Finance and Administration
Some might wonder why a nearly 150-year-old listed industrial technology company would move into Sanomatalo – a modern, glass-walled building and Finland’s largest media house, located in the heart of Helsinki, between the modern art museum Kiasma and the railway station. In fact, the location of Metso’s new head office strengthens the transformation that has taken place in the company during the past few years.
Main entrance at the Metso HQ in Sanomatalo, Finland.

Metso has gone through a series of major strategic and organizational changes over the past three years. At the end of 2013, Metso’s Pulp, Paper and Power businesses were demerged into a separate company, and 2015 saw the divestment of the Process Automation Systems business. Today, Metso is a significantly more focused company than before, concentrating on end-to-end mineral processing and services and flow control solutions for the process industry.

Under the new strategy and organizational structure, the old six-story head office on Fabianinkatu was no longer able to serve the business in the best possible way. At the beginning of December 2016, Metso’s head office staff moved to its new premises.

Flexible space in support of teamwork

The purpose of the new premises is to facilitate collaboration between the various functions, improve the employees’ well-being and make more effective use of space. In the Sanomatalo building, the entire head office staff can be located on one floor, which boosts spontaneous interaction and the exchange of information.

The new premises underwent major renovations and were converted into a multifunctional office space, offering just the right workspace for the task at hand. In addition to their own work stations, the employees have access to quiet rooms and conference spaces. Phone booths are available for phone calls. The work café provides the ideal setting for a more relaxed way of working and meeting people. In addition, a pilot group made up of 16 employees is testing non-designated work stations.

Listening to the employees – engaging change management

The move was a big change, not only in terms of logistics, but also in terms of culture. At the previous Metso Head Office, the majority of the employees had their own offices, whereas in the new premises, this is the case only for the Metso Executive Team members. That is why it was clear from the get-go that active change management would play a crucial role in making this project a success.

In practice, it meant continuous communication, taking the employees’ perspective into account in decision-making and engaging them in the design of the new Head Office. At the start of the project, the employees’ needs in terms of space were analyzed and workshops were organized along the way on various topics. The employees live was also taken into account when choosing the location: logistically, Sanomatalo’s superior location guarantees an easy commute by public transit for everyone. The employees also had a say in, for example, the selection of furniture.

A week after the move

After a week since the move daily routines and new ways of working are still taking shape, but the overall feedback has been positive. People have found the premises pleasant and functional. One of the ongoing projects is laying down common ground rules.

As for the project management team, a long journey is coming to a close. On another positive note, we have continued to receive surprisingly good feedback on our open communication and engagement. In retrospect, it’s fair to say that everything went as well as it possibly could have.