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Finnish coworking giant Technopolis reaching out for the Nordic and Baltic Sea region

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Finnish workspace developer and expert Technopolis has reserved 30 million euros to build up a network of 20 UMA coworking spaces in the biggest cities of the Nordic and Baltic Sea region by the end of 2020.

Technopolis launched the first stand-alone coworking space - located outside the Technopolis’ campus network - in Helsinki in 2016, the second in downtown Stockholm in April, the third in the Copenhagen city center in September 2018 and another two UMA Workspaces will open in December in Oslo and Helsinki.

Within the next years, Technopolis aims to deploy their successful UMA coworking concept in other major cities in the Nordic and Baltic Sea region - aggressively, rapidly and professionally.

"The amount of freelancers and small businesses is rapidly increasing, while larger companies are exploring opportunities to exploit growing workplace mobility.

Cities already house some many traditional serviced offices, but only a few professional coworking spaces. Coworking spaces are still at the initial stage, and therefore the growth potential is tremendous," CEO of Technopolis, Keith Silverang states.


Nordic spirit

The UMA Workspaces offer a professional work environment with Nordic mentality and spirit: Inspiring, fresh and functional activity based office where people can focus on their work and at the same time have a community around them.

The premium shared workspaces have central locations with all the needed services ranging from digital solutions and modern conference rooms to specialty coffee and networking events. Customers get access to all of these spaces and facilities with a single membership. 

“Companies are seeking more efficiency and flexibility in the volatile and rapidly changing business environment, but at the same time they need to attract the best talent by providing employees with centrally located, motivating and well-serviced workspaces.

Although office work has become increasingly mobile all over the world, we have noticed that people still need a home base for their outgoing work," Keith Silverang says.


Finnish challenge

Technopolis' first UMA Workspace in Copenhagen - housed in a 300-year-old historic building located in the very city center - is challenging the Danish market's leading providers like Regus, Ordnung, WEoffices, and others.

But global providers of serviced and flexible office spaces keep up their very optimistic views on the potentials, growth, and development of the future coworking market. 

"In Denmark, we are facing a significant growth with current providers, new entrants have introduced their concepts to the market within the last 12 months, and other new international providers like Technopolis are targeting Copenhagen. This development happening in Denmark can be seen all across Europe," COO at MatchOffice, Martin Roerholt reports.

"The industry is undergoing huge developments, and we see a natural replacement already happening among the providers of serviced offices. I find it most interesting to follow how the current market competition is going to revolve the industry developing new concepts and locations to the powerful tenants."  

Close the office - let your employees perform much better from home

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The office environment contains lots of interference and disturbances of any kind that make us significantly less effective than if we work from home - a Stanford professor is concluding after a two years study of the Chinese travel agency giant Ctrip.

"It´s old school thinking and past work tradition, dating back to the industrial revolution if you demand and expect your employees stick to the desk.

Working from home is a future-looking technology with enormous potential," professor of economics at Stanford University, Nicholas Bloom, states.

For two years, he followed the Shanghai-based travel agency Ctrip to find out if the company giant with 30,000 employees would be able to continue its growth by lowering its office space costs without losing the efficiency of the employees.

Nicholas Bloom shared his volunteer participant in two groups. It turned out that the group which was working from home for nine months and just had to go to the office once a week did perform 13.5% stronger than the control group that was working full time in the office.


Extra workday

"Ctrip's results were amazing. With their staff working from home Ctrip hoped to save money on space and furniture and that these savings would outweigh the loss of productivity caused by the homeworking employees´ looser discipline and efficiency.

But instead, we found that the employees working from home handled 13.5% more calls than their colleagues doing their job at the office," the Stanford professor resumes.

"Ctrip thus got an extra workday a week from each of their home working office employees. At the same time they provided half as many terminations as their colleagues in the office - and not surprisingly, they also reported much higher job satisfaction."

After the nine-month project, the Chinese travel agency announced with satisfaction that they had saved $ 1,900 on each of the study's home working focus subjects.

And subsequently, Ctrip decided to give all employees the opportunity to do parts of their weekly work from their private homes.


Shorter breaks

Nicolas Bloom estimates that homeworkers achieve higher efficiency due to sharper concentration and focus when the working day is no longer beginning in a car queue, stressing for reaching the train, etc., so transport time can convert to productive home working hours.

"A significant part of the remarkably higher productivity is probably the result of a calmer working environment. In my mind open offices are terribly distracting and disturbing places to work concentrated," the professor adds.
 

Another recent US study reports that nearly a third of office workers in the United States spent their entire working hours in their offices. British forecasts predict that half of the nation's office workers will work remotely in 2020.

A survey from June 2018 by the EU Statistical Organization Eurostat shows that 13.7 of the Dutch workforce - as the highest score of all EU countries - to some extent have the opportunity to perform from home.


Social isolation

However, social scientists and experts are warning that too much work at the distance might lead to professional and social isolation from the workplace.

"When working on the distance, you also cut off from the social dimension at work. It's not the big problem if your homework is limited and you know your colleagues very well.

But the importance of daily small-talking on the job with your colleagues physically should indeed not be underestimated," Danish work environment researcher Karen Albertsen points out.