Meetings in focus

17 Oct 2012

Earlier in the autumn, Vattenfall combined its three offices and the more than 2,000 employees were relocated in Arenastaden where the newly built offices encourage spontaneous meetings.

The rays of the clear autumn sun stream through the glass at Vattenfall’s new head office at Arenastaden. In the atrium on the entrance level, people meet, pause, have a cup of coffee and exchange a few words or sit on one of the green cushions in the large wooden staircase for discussions.

Olle Larsten has been project manager for Vattenfall’s relocation since the start of the project five years ago. He looks across the atrium and seems satisfied.

A place for spontaneous meetings

“We wanted to create a place for meetings between employees. The spontaneous meetings are inspirational for the company and ideas are hatched. We had high expectations when we moved here. And, to date, our expectations have been surpassed. We have a completely new way of working,” he says.

The move itself was done over a weekend and, on Monday morning, 3 September, everyone was there unpacking their boxes.

“The move went incredibly smoothly and by lunchtime everyone was already able to work as usual,” Larsten states.

Requirements for the new offices

A few years before the lease expired in Råcksta, where most of the employees were previously located, the process of finding new premises started. The catchwords during the search were efficiency, openness and responsibility. The new office had to help Vattenfall become an attractive employer and a leader in the environmental field.

Close proximity to transport links and an environmental classification were other musts. And naturally, it had to house the 2,000 employees who were then working in three locations around Stockholm.

Arenastaden – a vibrant city district

Olle Larsten is already satisfied that Friends Arena has been completed and looks forward to having the entire Arenastaden in a finished state.

“When that happens, this will be a real vibrant area with even more offices, stores and restaurants and a shorter distance to the commuter trains with the new entrance at the Solna station. Soon, the commuter trains to Arlanda/Uppsala will also stop at Arenastaden,” he says.

The four building structures

The building actually comprises four structures positioned close to each other and connected by the atrium in the middle. Everything was carefully conceived to create the prerequisites for meetings and communication.

“We wanted to create closeness between the buildings in order to incorporate natural meeting places. The idea was to imitate a university campus. The meetings also function as competency exchanges. A generation shift is in progress at Vattenfall and it is important that knowledge is transferred to the next generation,” Larsten explains.

Workplaces in open-plan offices

Everyone will have an individual workplace in an open-plan office.

“If you want to sit and work without being interrupted, we have 300 smaller rooms, known as flexrooms. Thanks to the wireless network, you’re able to take your computer and sit wherever you like in the building.”