Workflow management and style, workers and their needs nowadays are best characterised by mobility and diverse nature of their everyday responsibilities. Working environment has been showing gradual adjustment to the new working style and requirements all over the world for some time already – offices become more friendly towards their occupants, emphasizing the workers’ needs and comfort as the functional centre thereof in order to ensure maximum productivity. Offices constructed nowadays shift the focus towards the workers’ needs for space, communication and work resources. We take pride in the fact that we had the honour of building the first truly “smart” office in the Baltic States, the two-storey Mettropole office for Lattelecom.
Mettropole is based upon the changes in workflow principles, changes that we had to adjust ourselves to as well. As distinct from the earlier approach, where everyone had a separate table, conference rooms were used to convene meetings and the management had separate offices, Mettropole offers a much greater degree of diversity in terms of the choice of individual workstations, conference halls and recreation areas. In this manner, the style of work and the respective offices originate from the construction of the right infrastructure – working environment must be adjusted to fit the employees’ everyday requirements pertaining to mobility. Primary needs of any office – including smart offices – remain the same: electricity, lighting, ventilation. However, in order to ensure the availability of all these functions within the context of functionality and activity style demanded by the Mettropole concept, our experts had to refurbish their entire way of thinking, forgetting the old solutions altogether, in order to develop the most adequate solutions for an “intelligent” office from scratch.
We have achieved true mobility of the environment through constructing the power supply lines for phones and computers within the floor panels, so that the floor of the office would not turn into an “extension cord paradise” and each corner could be used in a rational manner. We also introduced a way to move the respective communications around the office along with the relocation of workstations, so as to ensure power supply in any location around the office without causing unnecessary damage to the interior finish elements. LAN infrastructure for Internet access is also located beneath the employees’ feet, so that the network would be truly comfortable to use. Everything is concealed under the floor to the maximum extent possible, thus allowing a greater degree of creative expression in interior design solutions.
In order to ensure maximum comfort and great working environment for those working in Mettropole, we have also built a special air ventilation system with adjustable functionality adapting to the current environment – if, for instance, many people gather in one of the zones, which increases air humidity in that location, adapting air conditioning and ventilation systems do away with the problem in a fast and efficient manner, yielding a favourable and pleasant working environment.