A jump from individual offices to unassigned desks
The Office of the Prosecutor General left its old office behind at Albertinkatu and moved to Lintulahdenkuja 4. The objectives of the reformed prosecutor’s office are supported with an activity-based environment and unassigned desks.
The staff members at the Office of the Prosecutor General were included from the very beginning in planning their new working environment, the starting point of which was an ongoing organizational change and reform of operations within the prosecution service.
– It was not just about moving from one physical workplace to another, but the change contained a great deal of things that we could actually influence ourselves. We know our work and the challenges that we will come up against in the future, says State Prosecutor Christer Lundström.
During the early stages of the project, many people were concerned about abandoning their old rooms and whether occupational peace could be guaranteed in an activity-based environment. The enthusiasm for the new work premises, however, increased as plans were able to be made for the design of the premises and their functions, as well as the interior design and furnishings.
– One matter that has had a great effect on the success of the project is that the management has set a good example through their own support for the new working environment, states Leading Specialist Henrika Räsänen who was in charge of leading the project.
Workstations for different needs
To make the most of the new activity-based Office of the Prosecutor General, a decision was made to take a good leap forward and start working at unassigned desks.
– The thought process was long. We noticed that we would have had to make a lot of compromises in our everyday work, if we had chosen assigned desks, says Lundström.
Now part of the premises is divided into a quiet working area, whilst another part of the premises allow conversations to be held. The workplace can be chosen depending on whether there is a need for focused working in a silent space or an exchange of ideas among colleagues. It is also possible retreat to a smaller room for concentrated working.
For almost 40 years Christer Lundström has worked in offices where people have their own rooms. He does not miss his own room anymore.
I have settled into the activity-based premises very well. It is not a problem to change one’s workplace on a daily basis. I retrieve the documents that I will need for the day from my locker and by the time the computer is ready for use, I’ve already adjusted my chair and desk to the correct working positions.
Planning together strengthened the working community
Just a month after the transition, adaptation to and adopting the methods of action were still ongoing. The new premises have been settled into without a great deal of trouble, thanks to the workshops, planning and going through matters carefully in advance. According to Henrika Räsänen, matters have fitted into place better than she had anticipated in advance.
– I feel that our work environment project was a common journey and has also worked in its own way as a work community development project. I am delighted that the group has actively participated in design teams and events organised for the staff. We also gained new insights from the project to be used in the work environment management of the whole office.
For Räsänen, a visually beautiful environment and good indoor air are important factors for comfort in new spaces. In particular, she rejoices that the workplace is a genuine activity-based environment.
– The fact is, of course, that the change from the old to new has been substantial, and, for some, it may still be challenging at this stage. Also, the fact that some of the material is still in paper form has resulted in some special arrangements to be made. Digitalization, however, will remove the use of paper before long, which provides a great opportunity from the point of view of developing the business operations.
There is no longer any need to worry about occupational peace at the Office of the General Prosecutor; the office is quiet and the feedback concerning the premises has been mostly positive. A new kind of working culture has already begun to emerge; spontaneous discussions are taking place more than ever, quick meetings are easy to organize.
– I’m delighted and proud that we have been brave enough and have dared to take unassigned desks into use. The Office of the Prosecutor General is a pioneer in the administrative sector of the Ministry of Justice, Räsänen says.
The Lintulahdenkuja 4 project
The Office of the Prosecutor General moved from individual offices into an activity-based environment at the end of February. The office space efficiency improved from 26 / m² / person to the current 16 m² / person. The new premises are designed to support the renewed organization of the office.
The Office of the Prosecutor General also functions as the Prosecutor Academy, providing the prosecution service with training and competence development services. Its training facilities can be used as meeting facilities and workstation areas, when they are free.
The project has utilized the premises search and change management services of Senate Properties.