The head office of Tomra Systems ASA, the world's largest producer of deposit systems for drinks containers, is located in Asker, on the outskirts of Oslo. Since it was first established in 1972, Tomra has grown dramatically, and now has a global market share of more than 70%. In 2018 the company began to outgrow its premises in Asker, and it decided to think in new ways in order to adapt to this major growth. It was helped in this by Kinnarps and their Next Office concept, which helps businesses design the perfect office.
"We needed help to work out how we could make the best use of the space that we had available to us. We found it really helpful to work with people who asked us poignant questions and gave us new insights into how we could make the best possible use of the building. And Next Office proved to be an excellent match,” says Technology Manager Mechanical Design, Kristian Hovde.
Creating an innovative, efficient office isn't just an interior design project, it's a change project. The office premises must be adapted to the people who work in them and must also reflect the company's vision. Next Office expert Kenneth Tveito believes it's important to have a good common understanding of what you want to achieve through the new office premises:
“The client wanted help to think in new ways and to create an agile office for the future. They wanted the entire R&D department to be accommodated in one area on one floor - before that they had been in various locations around the building. One of the main requirements was to create settings that encouraged collaboration and effective communication. This was a guiding principle when developing layouts and in the choice of colours and design”," he says.
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Wendy Helen Rosenlund is a project manager and account manager at Kinnarps. She was responsible for the refurbishment of Tomra's new office premises. In the last six months she worked part time on Tomra's premises in order to see the refurbishment to completion and support employees in the change they were going through:
“The process has worked really well from the outset. Tomra involved all its employees at an early stage and listened to their preferences and requirements. When everyone has been involved in the decision-making process, they find it easier to adapt and start using the new premises and facilities. After six months, we will conduct another analysis to find out what is working and what could be better, so employees can do their job in the best possible way," she says.
Initially, the task was to refurbish an old production facility covering an area of 1,200 sqm on the second floor. The objective was to improve collaboration across departments and to create better working conditions in terms of light, sound and air. The new premises were ready for use in January 2019. The result is multiple work zones and stations, meeting rooms, creative spaces and a very popular coffee station - and a colour scheme ranging from bright and fun to calmer, more neutral zones.
"Before we started there were 75 workstations here. After the refurbishment, there are 107 - plus several meeting rooms and social spaces. I think it was very brave of Tomra to go for such a colourful office design. It makes a more attractive workspace for both men and women, which is important because more than 80% of the employees are men,” says Wendy Helen Rosenlund.
"The architect behind the layout that was developed for Tomra, Camilla Skjønhaug from In Front Design, is an expert at moving from theoretical results to layout and has a wealth of knowledge around activity-based working. Tomra chose a hybrid ABW (activity-based working) solution, which had been highlighted by the findings from the Next Office analysis. This shows how important it is to listen to the client and identify their requirements. Every organisation is unique and requires unique solutions to create the perfect office for them – which is also the basic principle of Next Office.”
We wanted to create a meeting room that was both inspirational and motivational. We wanted to encourage creativity and dialogue. An interior design that is flexible, where employees can easily make changes and adapt the room for collaboration. The result was a meeting room for small groups, a setting for both spontaneous and planned meetings - quick clarifications or phone calls. The room is also designed in such a way that people can use it for private conversations, presentations or video conferences without being disturbed.
In the creative zone we've combined a number of different styles, and the interior design comprises different products and solutions which have different functionality and styles, but which, at the same time, have been put together in such a way that the setting has a uniform look. Here, we've played with the products a bit more and we want to encourage creativity and innovation. Colours and shapes are combined in an inspirational way, and the interior design is agile. It's a space for holding brief meetings and chatting with colleagues.
It's important to create settings for concentration, a place where people can work undisturbed. There's a separate workspace for those who want a private space where they can concentrate and be on their own. When someone chooses to work here, their colleagues know that they must not be disturbed. The idea is to provide people with a setting where they can focus on their work without being disturbed. Here you are private, you can work on your own and you can receive phone calls in private. The workspace is ergonomically designed, with high-quality office chairs and desks, which can be adapted to any employee who chooses to work there.
This is a social setting where colleagues can meet for a coffee, start the day with a newspaper or have a chat during the course of the day. The great atmosphere has made it a favourite with many. The lounge has become a natural meeting point, a bit like a hotel lobby. It's a place where employees can meet, solve work-related problems, socialise and chat. The lounge is also the perfect place to check your emails or clear your head.
"I'm delighted with the combination of group room and small breakout room. We believe it's crucial to have somewhere to take a break, so anyone who needs to can hide themselves away in a corner and work undisturbed. The meeting rooms also work well, and the combination of the use of colours and the creation of new work settings has been really positive."
Now Tomra plans to start work on refurbishing the first floor, again with the help of Kinnarps and Next Office. And the process will start all over again, with new analyses and plans. Here, specially adapted office premises will be designed for different departments - with the new Tomra look.
Kristian Hovde from Tomra is delighted with the new premises and the process in which they were created.
"The premises are really flexible, and there's plenty of scope for us to adapt to the requirements of the future. We're in the perfect position to work more efficiently and we have a larger overall capacity than we had before," he says.
He is looking forward to working with Kinnarps and Next Office again on the first floor refurbishment:
"We've finished refurbishing the first part of the building now, and we're starting on the next part. We hope to be able to take with us many of the lessons that we learned from this part of the project, and we realise that the other departments have different requirements which would not be met by the layout and solutions that we have used. But we can use the best things from this part of the project for the rest of the refurbishment!"