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  • Writer's pictureVirve Juhola

Internal work groups help plan Trimble’s move to new offices

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

Trimble utilizes dedicated internal teams working in cooperation with external professionals to plan its move to new offices. Dozens of Trimble’s circa 400 staff members in Finland take part in these teams, and all of the personnel have been given the opportunity to impact their new premises via surveys.

Dedicated work groups were founded at Trimble to help with digital solutions, office services, interior design, furniture inventory, and cleaning, as well as to steer the entire project. Each team involves 6–10 active members, while the rest of the personnel is able to influence the planning via internal surveys and piloting. The first workplace survey regarding the move was organized as early as 2017.

Manager of internal communications, travel and office services Taina Saarikoski has been involved in the project since its early phase.

“Due to my professional role I’m a member in many work groups: the Digitalization, Office Services and Moving teams and the Steering Group. Our work will continue until the completion of the new offices in the autumn of 2021. The digitalization, office services and moving teams meet every week and the steering group once a month. If necessary, we meet more often among fewer team members. The teams aim to find out which topics are important for the personnel and how their many wishes can be categorized. For example, what they must have and what would be nice to have. The most important objective of the internal work groups is to hear the needs of different employee teams and roles and to find functional and flexible solutions within the budget.”

Photo below: Justiina Heilimo testing an active work station

User experience specialist Osmo Tolvanen took charge of the interior design team just recently.

“During last autumn and winter, we collected information about the needs and sizes of Trimble’s work teams, their internal cooperation partners, whether their work is quiet or loud, what is their seating order, and so on. During the meetings, we have brainstormed furnishing themes for the different segments, for example. The precast team came up with concrete surfaces, stools, reinforcing bar patterns and cranes for one of the meeting rooms. The groups aim at producing ideas beyond textiles and other materials.”

“A key issue is to decide on desk sizes, for example, because the desks are used to form team areas,” Tolvanen says. “In our current premises, we have pilot areas for testing various alternatives and adjustments. The desks need to fit the two or more displays many of our employees use daily, plus laptop docking stations, as well as several electrical and charging outlets. Although the interior design workgroup has gone through dormant periods, all of the staff has had their opportunity to freely express their opinions, pros and cons, about furniture by responding to three different surveys.”

Giant LED panel screen perhaps the most impressive element in the new offices

“The staff opinion surveys have gathered information evenly from all departments,” says IT specialist Hanna Alander in charge of the digitalization team. “The objective of our team is to equip the new offices with appropriate audiovisual systems, the level of which is as good as or better than what we have now. During the most active phase, participation in the team takes a couple of days per week. To begin with, we made an inventory of all existing devices and systems, then brainstormed by writing case descriptions of what we want to be able to do in each room. These descriptions formed the base for tendering the device and solution suppliers, and we work in close cooperation with the steering group and the IM department.”

“Some of the devices in the new offices will be standard but we will also have customized solutions, such as the giant screen to be hung above the staircase in the lobby and the soundproof wall in one of the meeting rooms,” Alander says. “The room’s audiovisual system must adapt to the space being divided into two separate rooms when necessary. The giant screen to be placed over the new lobby’s staircase will consist of 16 LED panels of 55 inches in diameter. Its motorized lift mechanism will be installed in parts, and once installed over the staircase, the screen can be raised and lowered.”

“The system to lift the heavy screen will be customized for us, and we will not purchase any technology until very near the move because prizes may vary and solutions may develop in the meantime,” Alander says.

“The new unusual screen solution is to create a wow effect in the lobby, and it underwent careful consideration,” Saarikoski says.

“The staff wished for a soundproof studio, and we will have one, but without high-tech studio technology as we prefer to produce videos and other audiovisual material with professionals who have their own high-quality equipment. The studio will have a green screen wall, and we will use it to produce webinars, for example,” Alander says.

Existing movable property to be reused and revamped sustainably

Documentation specialist Carmen Pekkarinen and software extension coordinator Päivi Palomäki are in charge of the inventory and cleaning team. The project has employed them mostly for a few hours per week or at most a few whole days.

“The objective of our group, among other things, is to explore the need for storage space,” says Palomäki. “That’s why we’re often spotted with Carmen around the offices swinging tape measures and notepads while doing our calculations. The marketing department, for example, has a lot of materials that need to be stored at the office. In addition, we have listed and discussed all furniture to be kept in cooperation with the agency supplying the interior design. We have agreed to utilize as many existing items as possible. There is no reason to replace all electric adjustable desks and customized desk chairs, for example. We also have plenty of shelves in good condition that can be used in the new offices. Moreover, there are certain design classics in our current meeting rooms and the auditorium that may be worth cleaning or reupholstering for the new offices.”

User experience specialist Justiina Heilimo is in charge of the office services team with 6–7 employees occupied for a couple of days per week during the most active planning periods.

“At first we surveyed the need for break rooms and what people want in them. It is still open who will provide our reception lobby and office services in the new offices, but we will hopefully know soon. After that, we can start looking for a cleaning service provider. There is accurate documentation about our current office services which we can utilize and edit for tendering,” Heilimo says.

“The objective is to find a one-stop-shop provider and sign just one contract as we do now,” says Saarikoski in charge of office services at Trimble Finland. “Ideally the lobby reception is our contact point for all maintenance and cleaning needs so that staff members do not have to look for separate services. An ideal provider will offer us seamless service by a dedicated team including just one service manager and temp staff as necessary.”

Video below: Justiina Heilimo testing lockers

“The decision to build air-conditioned open offices was made early in the project. An increasing number of employees will work remotely after the epidemic, too, and there may not be a

need for as many workstations at the office. So far, however, we have planned dedicated desks for everyone, and we are not planning to apply hot desking,” Alander says.

“At the same time, we are planning the new offices to flexibly fit 500–700 employees if necessary in the future. Offices must be seen as an evolution, and there is no reason or need to expose the staff to too big a change all at once,” Saarikoski says.

Read more about the project manager’s role related to the new offices

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