In May 2021, If P&C Insurance moved to new stylish premises in Keilaniemi, Espoo. We will sum up the ambitious goals, careful preparations and the implementation of the groundbreaking space project.
If P&C Insurance has 20 branches in Finland. The largest offices are in Turku and in the Helsinki metropolitan area in Espoo. The lease of the office premises in Niittykumpu, Espoo, was about to expire by the end of 2022. The goals and main features of the future office were discussed internally already in 2018. The old premises of more than 15,000 square meters were perceived as too maze-like for the future office solution. The teams mostly worked in their own separate compartments and the surrounding walls reduced natural social contacts with the other teams. Ecorum was assigned to survey the market options, as they had completed the highly successful premises project in Turku just the year before.
Focus on well-being at work and the future
In the premises search, the focus was on staff well-being i.e. the factors that have the strongest impact on it. The location should offer smooth public transport connections as well as good accessibility on foot and by bike. The new facilities were to support the ways and culture of the future – flexible cross-team and cross-unit collaboration, low hierarchy and diverse social interaction. The goal was a modern activity based working environment that would provide the employees with varied and fascinating workspaces freely selectable according to their current tasks and teams. The workspace also needed to support the special requirements of the business, such as seamless data security when processing customer information.
Project start prior to the pandemic
Although nothing was known about the pandemic and lockdowns, If had already researched that just under 65% of the 650 employees in the Helsinki metropolitan area were using the office premises at the same time. As the goal was to create a modern activity based working environment, where everyone is free to choose their respective workplace, also space usage could now be significantly improved. In the end, the new premises had just under 8,000 square meters of office space, nearly 5,000 less than the old ones
New lease agreement in September 2019
Ecorum’s search for office options was met with great interest and nearly 30 offers were received. Three most potential properties were selected for further negotiations and two for the final round. In the end, the Keilalampi property in Keilaniemi, Espoo, was selected. The lease agreement was signed in September 2019. Once the site was known, all staff were engaged in the ideation and planning of the space usage, as the house would in any case be thoroughly renovated for the use of the new main tenant. The goal was to be able to relocate to new premises in about a year and a half, in the spring of 2021.
Supporting the client at every stage of the project
If also has real estate and business premises expertise of its own. The in-house premises team manages e.g. all leases and renovations of the 20 offices in Finland. The team is also in charge of the company’s national business premises strategy and property related services, including the digital transition to smart office environments. As a large premises project requires a wide range of expertise and takes a huge amount of time, Ecorum’s experts have also made a significant contribution to the success of the project in its various phases:
- Market contacts: Ecorum knew the local market and was able to contact the right parties.
- Lease negotiations: Ecorum brought experience and expertise to support decision making.
- Renovation of the premises: Ecorum coordinated the refurbishment and checked that all renovations were carried out in accordance with the contracts.
”The premises search went well and Ecorum found surprisingly many relevant options for us. Our new premises were located next to the metro station and even less than five kilometers from the old ones, making the change as smooth as possible for our staff'. We also received significant support from Ecorum in lease negotiations and decision-making. Ecorum’s expertise and active approach in negotiations and project work rose to a major role during the renovation and greatly contributed to the success of our entire project. The end result is what we aimed at, a state-of-the-art working environment, which meets the needs of our personnel holistically, far into the future, says Pirjo Holmén, Head of Premises Finland at If P&C Insurance.”Pirjo Holmén
WELL certification to monitor and verify well-being
A LEED certificate is being applied for the entire Keilalampi property and as one of the first Finnish office buildings it will also be WELL certified. If also applies for the highest WELL Platinum level certificate for its own operations. WELL certification goes beyond traditional real estate standards as it puts people’s well-being at the center. The certification process takes into account the operational activity in property as well as corporate HR policies and strategic leadership goals, thus aiming at comprehensive optimization of both working environment and the well-being and comfort of personnel.
Quality customer service and a stronger employer brand
“The well-being of our staff has been the basis of our entire business premises project. We feel that personnel well-being boosts and sustains our customer service efforts. We also compete to get top talents to join us, and the new facilities will no doubt have an effect on our employer brand. In addition to state-of-the-art office premises, our house highlights include a modern conference center, a staff restaurant serving excellent food, all thinkable amenities for cyclists and a bright market-like courtyard in the center of the building. Today it’s a real pleasure to take new employees for a tour of the house, says Pirjo Holmén.”