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Space for big ideas

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More open and welcoming, creative and functional. Senab has moved into its renovated workplace in Stockholm. Creation of this meeting place for big ideas began with an in-depth preliminary study.
And Senab practises what it preaches – its employees have been involved in the change process.

Senab Showroom Stockholm Jason Strong Photography

Over the years Senab has helped quite a few companies to change their working methods ahead of an office conversion or construction of a new office.

“Everything we do starts with people. Through understanding the business we try to find the dynamic between productivity, identity, attractiveness and comfort,” says Johan Selberg, manager of Senab Workplace Strategy, which carried out the preliminary work ahead of the change at Senab’s Stockholm office.

The office has been renovated and now has a brand new layout and new interior design. The project, which ran from the end of 2016 to the moving-in date in October 2018, incorporated all stages of the change process – from preliminary study to zone division and workshops regarding technical support, leadership during change, insight into how to work in zones, and arrangements to create a pleasant and sustainable working environment. 

As Jeanette Brohäll, Senab’s building project manager, puts it:
“We want to set a good example and create a really positive workplace. Therefore we have continuously included our employees in the process and made use of our knowledge and experience of what works well or not in offices today.
“With a construction period of just under four months it was a challenge to incorporate all views and factors that came up during the preliminary study for the construction project.”

Senab Showroom Stockholm Jason Strong PhotographySPONTANEOUS MEETINGS. ‘Activity-based’ is how Senab describes its workplace, designed to suit Senab’s business activities and working methods. In reality, it functions as much as a meeting place as it does a traditional office. And furthermore, to a certain degree as a showroom, since the aim is to showcase the best from its suppliers.

The premises are mainly divided into different activity zones, but there are also some fixed workstations and work zones. The zones and options are numerous, and there is a huge variation in ambience. Larger and smaller ­quiet zones for work requiring concentration, creative zones for collaboration, small booths for telephone calls and complete seclusion, and numerous spaces for meetings, both large gather­ings and one-to-one discussions. And, above all, for spontaneous meetings.
“For example, we have assembled important functions in a single location. Coffee-making facilities and access to printers are now on just one of the floors, which makes for a better flow within the premises. Bringing employees together and creating better conditions for spontaneous meetings has a positive effect on both information exchange and creativity, a factor that has been an important element of our change project,” says Jeanette. 

Senab Showroom Stockholm Jason Strong PhotographyThe café and kitchen section, referred to as Torget (the Square) by Senab, is directly adjacent to the entrance on the ground floor and helps to promote a more welcoming atmosphere. It exudes a hotel and restaurant feel. 

The biggest structural change is the broad new staircase, which links the two floors and is adjacent to Torget.
“We now have a better overview from both floors and everyone feels more welcome coming up to the upper floor,” says Jeanette.

Like most activity-based offices, the employees have personal storage in the form of a locker and a bag to carry necessary material. Some of the varied facilities in this flexible environment are bookable, while others can be used at any time.
“We use sensors to easily identify where there are free places and rooms. The system also measures actual usage of the areas, irrespective of whether they are booked or not. This will allow us to determine if some functions need to be modified,” explains Jeanette.

DESIGN WITH BREADTH. Nicole Nörgaard, a Visual Merchandiser with sales, and Lisa Sandvik, a Strategic Visual Merchandiser, jointly developed the interior concept, including furniture, colour scheme and zone division. A design with breadth.
“The challenge for us, unlike other projects, has been to showcase a range of different producers in the limited space we have avail­able.
We have constantly focused on zone division and function. We now have a functioning workplace, not just a showroom. Our office is intended to shape the meeting place of the future. You can gain inspiration and experience Senab’s broad offering,” says Nicole.

Alongside the entrance, with a display window facing busy Regeringsgatan, is an area where the various suppliers – one at a time – have chance to showcase products for a limited period.
“The suppliers put together a proposal in consultation with us, and the area is to all intents and purposes theirs for the agreed ­period, generally a couple of months. This ­allows us to showcase a greater variety of ­furniture and producers,” explains Nicole.

Text Tove Gyllenstierna
Photo Jason Strong

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This article was originally published in Reflections #1 2019

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