Laura Ylä-Sulkava: New working methods – Multi-purpose premises challenge the reign of post-it notes

Tekes will move to the Team Finland house in Ruoholahti on 15 August 2016. The new multi-purpose premises and the fact that we will work in the same facility as Finpro and Finnvera will challenge our established practices – both great and small.

Because Finpro is already in the Team Finland house, we have been able to try out working in the new premises. A couple of weeks ago, I was working in Ruoholahti, and as usual, added my checklists and priorities to post-it notes. When I was done after a few hours, I instinctively looked for a rubbish bin in which to discard the post-it notes. But there are no rubbish bins by the workstations – they are located next to the coffee machines and in the copy rooms. Yep, that was really difficult.

A small thing, but I had to challenge my mindset in this respect. I wondered whether there was an alternative to those wonderful notes, which are really important – at least to my current way of working. Likewise, I realised that I could no longer stick the notes onto my desk, as I no longer had a desk of my own. A friendly future colleague advised me as follows: why not stick them in a notebook :) Maybe there is an electronic application for this purpose?

Post-it notes or not, I now need to look in the mirror and reflect on my way of working. In my previous post, I was accustomed to open-plan offices, but the concept of multi-purpose premises challenges me to reflect on the importance of organising what I do. Next to whom do I work fastest? Do I need a couple of hours to concentrate on a task, or should I stay at home and work remotely the whole day? Can I handle routines – such as the processing of invoices or recording working time – best at the Street Café, or can I cross them off my agenda more quickly in a quiet area? This will require more foresight and discipline, at least from myself.

An article in Sunday's (22 May) newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, headlined, Five hottest trends in working life – these are the skills and attitudes that new graduates need, listed trends that sounded very relevant to us:

1. Mobile work and remote work
Yes – we move around in and outside the new space as appropriate with regard to the task in hand.

2. Undercover boss
Yes – the boss may be in a different part of the building (then as now), work remotely etc. The article raised the issue of growing self-leadership, which will at least be reflected in the growing need to anticipate your own work. We must be able to decide where and with whom we get most done.

3. Readiness to learn new things
Absolutely (my favourite topic) – one's personal learning ability and its maintenance, and curiosity about new things will be a must.

4. Multiculturalism
Yes – we'll more often see different organisational cultures and practices around us.

5. Working together
Yes – as well as bringing us all together, the new premises and equipment will help us to cooperate and create more value-added.

Laura Ylä-Sulkava
Senior Vice President, Operations Support

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