An uncertain autumn calls for a cool head and flexible procurement

Purchasing a workplace as a service can ease many headaches.

Autumn is around the corner, that much is certain. But that is about the only thing we can be sure of. Business executives are now losing sleep over how and where we will be working in the coming months.

After the spring and summer, many employees have had enough of working from home without the company of their colleagues. At the same time, returning to the office safely presents problems. What is a safe utilisation rate? Will it be necessary to rent more space in order for employees to return to the workplace?

One way of managing the uncertainty is to favour service models in procurement. For example, computers and phones are often purchased using a service model. This means companies do not have to consider how to scale purchases to ensure there is always a sufficient number of devices.

Like technical devices, the workplace must also adapt to changing needs.

The service model provides more flexibility for workplaces, improved risk management and better predictability of costs. Property and workplace costs play an important role in a company’s cost structure: premises and their changes easily tie up to a considerable amount of capital.

The service model makes it easier to react to changes

On the face of it, it may seem a good idea to lease one more floor in the office building so that your employees can spread out as far apart from each other as possible in cubicles.

At worst, a company will commit for years to costly solutions that do not support modern work.

Instead of stopgap solutions, companies should take advantage of the shift that has happened and has also led to an increasing number of employees to seriously considering their own work practices and the location-based nature of their work. Technology and the monitoring of actual ways of working can offer a solution.

Instead of guesswork, we recommend investing in sensors and smart technology that help you turn your existing premises into the most user-centric, cost efficient and safe premises possible.

The service model is the most efficient way to carry out data-driven optimisation of premises: you can add, remove and change equipment according to the actual use and needs identified with sensors. If the coronavirus situation takes a turn for the worse and employees have to work mainly from home again, the service model will help you to react.

The pandemic is accelerating the change in the way we work

During the spring, it was widely reported that many of those who got a taste for remote working would want to work from home more on a permanent basis.

When the pandemic subsides, it will be a challenge for companies to make their offices sufficiently functional and supportive of different forms of work that people will want to come to the office to meet their colleagues and work with them.

In times of crisis, it is all too easy to chose rapid solutions that seem impressive. However, at this time of transformation it is also a good time to stop and take a look further into the future. This is the time to take a long view and build an efficient and productive workplace that will stand the test of time.

Kalle Lehtonen

"An uncertain autumn calls for a cool head and flexible procurement."

Kalle Lehtonen, Chief Financial Officer, Martela Oyj