Functional activity-based office

A well-designed activity-based office provides its users with a good environment to strengthen the organization’s community

Activity-based office at Valmet - INTO the Nordic Silence

Activity-based offices are currently the number one solution for office building in Finland, and the trend in Europe seems to be heading to same direction. It is not an improved version of the open office, but its entire operational logic is different. A well-designed activity-based office provides its users with a good environment to strengthen the organization’s community, share silent information within it, and provide a wide range of spaces to work from teamwork to focused individual work.

The activity-based office must be designed for people and for their work

Activity-based offices offer a wide range of facilities, such as open space type of workspace, silent space for concentration, telephone booths, and meeting and conference rooms of various sizes. The basic idea is that an employee can choose a workspace depending on what kind of task (s)he has at hand. Designing should always start from the people and their work.

Different zones of a functional activity-based office

Open interaction zone
The zone of an open interaction is often a customer service area for both internal and external customers. This is a public space open to all, where opportunities for encounters and cooperation are good, but opportunities for concentration are relatively poor. In addition to common spaces, this area often has workstations for private customer service.

Activity-based office: best products for open interaction zone - INTO the Nordic Silence

Intensive cooperation zone
The zone of intensive cooperation is for tasks, in which the help and support of other people is needed. This area often consists of a variety of meeting and conference rooms, where you can focus on cooperation and team work without disturbing others around.

Activity-based office: best products for intensive cooperation zone - INTO the Nordic Silence

Intensive individual work zone
Intensive individual work zone allows work of varying degrees of concentration and demanding work. This area is characterized by telephone booths, various withdrawal facilities and, for example, quiet rooms for both work and rest.

Activity-based office: best products for intensive individual work zone - INTO the Nordic Silence

Short-term exposure zone
Short-term pop-in zone includes the facilities and places where people in the company or organization spend short times when moving from one space to another and moving from one job to another. These revenues include, for example, lounges, cafeteria areas, copy rooms, office supplies stores, etc.

Activity-based office: best products for short-term exposure zone - INTO the Nordic Silence

Things to consider when designing activity-based office:

Find out the purpose of activity-based office
It is important to define what is expected of an activity-based office and why one is wanted. Is the strategy to have more person to person encounters and innovations or is the purpose to create more flexibility to serve a varying number of staff.
Behind a successful activity-based office plan there are always detailed strategic goals.

Get your employees involved in the planning
It is important that employees can participate in the planning of their workplaces. If employees cannot be included, at least the representatives of all the personnel groups that are using the premises should be taking part in the planning.

Participation can mean, for example, workshops or answering surveys. In these, it would be good to go through the needs and working methods of employees now and in the future: What are the company’s employee profiles, how many are there permanently and how many have mobile work? Who are cooperating closely? Who needs a quiet workstation continuously? How much space is needed for external customers? What kind of other activities are organized in the office?

When designing space and thinking about space usage, it is also worth making the space as easy to navigate as possible so that employees and customers can easily move around the premises. It is important that each employee, no matter of their employee profile, has the peace and tranquility to do their work in efficient way without disturbances.

Ergonomics of premises
Ergonomic working spaces increase the work efficiency and employee well-being. Various furniture solutions that support active work and work positions create a pleasant acoustic environment.

Common rules on use of premises
At its best, the activity-based office supports collaboration, interaction and information flow. Part of the well-functioning activity-based office are jointly defined rules that increase and support workplace peace and well-being.

TOP 3 solutions for functional activity-based office

1. High quality phone booths
Activity-based office requires spaces where telephone conversations can be handled in peace and without disturbing others. However, there are quality differences in phone booths, and in some workplaces phone booths have not been used due to poor sound insulation.
INTO POD PHONE phone booths belong to the class A in standard SFS 5904 “Acoustic classification of spaces in building”. More importantly, the speech transmission index (STI) of our phone booths has been measured at 0.10-0.15 with normal speech. This means that speech intelligibility outside the POD is weak. When speech transmission is unclear, the variation in speech (individual syllables, words and phrases) is difficult to understand. This guarantees the privacy you need.

Activity-based office: high quality phone booth - INTO the Nordic Silence

2. Storage space
The storage space in the activity-based office is also important for the employees. Papers, computers, and other work items need to be stored somewhere, for example, for lunch.
INTO FOCUS is a workstation for private work. Not only is this handy wheel-mounted workstation sound-friendly and provides visual protection, it also has a lockable space where the employee can leave his or her personal belongings when needed. The surrounding curved wall of the FOCUS works as a good decomposer of the reflected voice around the workstation.Activity-based office: Storage space - INTO the Nordic Silence3. Meeting spaces
The key idea of the activity-based office is to make room for people to people encounters.
INTO POINT sofas are various size sofa modules that can be combined to create the most suitable meeting space that best suits your needs. Ergonomics has been taken into account in design of all our sofas: for example, the seat height corresponds to the standard work chair, the back is slanted backwards to ensure the best sitting position, and though sofas are comfortable to sit on, they are strong enough for you to sit on them for a long time without painful muscles.

Activity-based office: meeting spaces - INTO the Nordic Silence

+ 1 bonus solution 
INTO TOP LIFT adjustable side table adapts to exact height you need. These desks are just the right size for small office side desks, but also serves as temporary computer desks or collaboration points. All INTO TOP tables are clean-lined and slender, but structurally durable and sturdy, so they do not fall from even bigger puncture.