An office that is like a modern day cottage

Motiva is a sustainable development company owned by the state that encourages efficient and sustainable use of energy and materials. The rental agreement of their office was about to end, and it became topical to think of new ways of utilizing space as well as energy efficient ways of working. In their previous office, Motiva had resorted to the traditional public officer model where each of the employees had their own rooms, so at first the thought of a multifunctional office was received with slight hesitation.

An underlying thought in the planning process was to aim “to achieve more with less”. In practice it means that everything is done energy efficiently with renewable energy, the existing office furniture will be reused as much as possible, and recycled and recyclable materials will be used in new furniture. The meeting spot for the office, called Kohtaamo (which loosely translates into Encountering Spot), is located at the center of the office right next to the lobby. A soft but colorful interior and all-round utilization of natural materials in sympathetic-looking furniture creates warmth in the space, bringing in a cottage-like ambiance.

Kohtaamo divides the office equipped with unnamed workstations into two: at the other end there is a quiet side and at the other an interactive side. Against preliminary evaluations, the utilization level of the interactive zone, which the staff calls by the name chatty side, has been remarkably higher than that of the other spaces, and the staff has embraced it with joy. In the near proximity of the chatty side, there is a wellbeing room where it is possible to take a rest and recharge your batteries. Wall bars and other body activating exercise equipment enable a refreshing break exercise for the staff.

The daily work life of Motiva employees has undergone a radical change. While formerly a routine work day composed of spending time alone in their own office rooms and they would walk out to the hallway to fetch a cup of coffee at most, nowadays several encounters occur in one day. Along with the time spent together, there has been an increase in social cohesion, information sharing and trust. You can choose your place of work between the silent and interactive space according to that day’s task’s requirements. Even though the change has been major, good familiarization and constant communication between the designers and the client has enabled a seamless transition to the new spaces. If you were to ask Motiva employees now, most likely none of them would be interested in returning to their former office.

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