June 21, 2017 Smart Office consortium conceptualising a smart working model

Are Oy                                            Press release                                    21 June 2017 at 1:15 p.m.


What will your work environment look like in the future? What is the purpose of work and how will it change in the future?


The demand for human work is undergoing a revolution as artificial intelligence takes over many routine tasks. What will be the purpose of work in the future, and what forms will it take? With these megatrends in mind, a group of players in the construction and real-estate sectors have decided to create a completely new smart work concept based on the needs of companies and employees that use office premises. Smart Office wants to improve work day experiences using the newest technology and services. The goal is to create an inspiring, ecological, healthy and efficient work environment for different kinds of work communities, including services and facilities that enable flexible work and the birth of innovations.


The companies in the consortium—Are, Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company, Ensto, Fujitsu, Inspecta, Martela, Ramboll and YIT have entered into a development cooperation agreement with customer experience agency Shirute to collect ideas about the possibilities and needs of smart work. The partners will work together to develop new ways of thinking, ideas for implementation and a concept or concepts related to the theme, as smart house thinking supporting innovative, changing work is still a rather new idea in office environments.


At this stage, the most important perspectives in the new cooperation have included:


  • How do office premises and their services support modern, changing work and the everyday experiences of employees?
  • What are the features of modern, community-oriented work environments in which third parties produce added-value services according to the wishes of the users?
  • How can everyday use of office spaces be streamlined and made more sustainable from an ecological perspective?
  • What solutions can be used for the flexible management of usage rates according to the demand of each day?
  • What kind of setup supports changing work that emphasises interaction and collective innovation of employees?
  • What type of IT platform and technological solutions do the goals in question require from the perspective of IT suppliers?


“We have already been thinking about the topic as part of a larger Smart City project for a while now. Now we have started to consider the changes in working life with a new foundation. When we brought together a group of companies, it became clear very quickly that the Smart Office concept, which combines smart office spaces and the needs of the end user, would require cooperation that transcends traditional borders. The main idea has been to work together to dream up what kinds of office spaces can be transformed based on people’s needs and what new technologies support meaningful work while also keeping ecological values in mind,” says Jari Vuori, Director and founder of the consortium, and Virva Paatomo, Lead Consultant at Fujitsu.


In what kind of office or environment do you want to do the work of the future?

The parties involved in the project are united by an understanding of how work will change and become more flexible in the future. At the same, the traditional roles of employee and employer will break down. The results of work will become more important than the traditional idea of being visible at the workplace. The work environment must be able to transform itself to suit the needs of the task at hand as well as of those of the company or project.


With an increased need for energy efficiency and flexibility of spaces, IoT indicators and analytics can be used in a wide range of applications in the properties of the future.  Sensors can be used to create healthy work conditions for the users as well as enable proactive maintenance of buildings.


Work can also happen outside the walls of office buildings, in the city and in cafés, while travelling from one place to another and even in other countries. The Smart Office concept used by the consortium refers to a new way of doing work that is not limited by the physical environment. In fact, it is more like the opposite: The physical environment attracts different experts, who then form communities to suit their purpose. Different project-specific expert networks produce a new kind of value and innovation. The physical work environment and the virtual work environment that supports it enable ecological, constantly changing work that increases interaction, the purposefulness of work and the birth of innovation.


“Are, as a leading player in the field, has a long history of working to develop technical systems in cooperation with universities and research institutes. This development work has led to the creation of solutions that have been brought into practice to support both the owners of properties and the users of facilities. Are is a natural member of the Smart Office consortium as Are’s business operations already make use of the possibilities created by IoT. Are’s cutting-edge product Are Sensus is a modern, comprehensive building technology system that makes use of building data. Are Sensus creates a foundation enabling the utilisation of various technical data as part of the comprehensive digitisation of buildings. The Smart Office consortium project currently underway includes several leading players in their fields, whose expertise can be utilised and combined to support the goals of the development project and promote the development of the entire sector,” comments Project Manager Timo Nurisalo from Are.


More information:

Timo Nurisalo +358 40 300 5054, timo.nurisalo@are.fi


Are is the largest technical building services company in Finland. Our technical building contracting and property maintenance services guarantee energy efficiency and a comfortable indoor climate throughout the entire life cycle of the building.

We focus on intelligent technical maintenance and our Are Sensus low-energy system in particular. Established more than 100 years ago, the Are Group employs approximately 2,800 people. We serve our customers in 25 locations in Finland as well as in St Petersburg, Russia. More information: www.are.fi

Share this: