We were able to provide a good reason to come back to the office

”Although the COVID-19 time has continued, the move brought us an actual energy injection and we were able to jump into a new era. The spirit of helping and moving to new landscapes was a really big thing for us and people have been much more on the spot since then.

Juha Hannulabacka
Gapps Oy

Gapps toimisto

Gapps Oy is a digital work partner of Nordic companies founded in 2010.

The company has its roots in Google Cloud Expertise and Reselling. For Gapps, meeting the customer’s needs is central, and as a result, the offer now includes Slack, the self-developed product Happeo, and other services and solutions that support digital work. Gapps has completed more than a thousand digital transformation projects and currently serves more than five hundred customers. The organization of 40 gappsians has grown strongly in recent years and this is expected to continue to be even stronger in the future.

As the number of staff grew and life situations changed, the location in the city center was no longer the thing

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic posed its own challenges; how to do and where to work. Even before pandemic, the employees had to choose where they work – we have people who work outside the Helsinki metropolitan area, such as Tampere, Turku, Hämeenlinna and Lahti. Some, on the other hand, have liked to work at the office and on Fridays we also used to have a catering lunch aimed at enticing people to come to the office to meet each other. However, due to COVId-19, the organizing of these joint meetings slowed down due to restrictions, recalls Juha Hannulabacka.

Since its establishment in 2010, Gapps has been located on the Punavuori-Bulevardi axis, but as the Start-Up grew also people have grown, started families and moved further away from the city center, which has made everyday life more difficult. Difficult transport connections also made it difficult to recruit new employees.

Are we going east or west or staying downtown?

Juha Hannulabacka

With these considerations in mind, Gapps began in early 2021 to consider alternative spaces to address the above challenges. The work began by mapping the location of the facilities using the following criteria; The location should be between Ruoholahti and Kalasatama, no more than 1 km from the metro or near the Central Station. Larger facilities that would allow for growth.

With these criteria, in May 2021 we contacted ScanReal’s Toni Aulo, from whom I already had good experiences from previous assignments. We chose Toni as a partner not only because of his substantive expertise, but above all because he has good relations with the owners of the premises in the area. It would not have been practically possible for us to be in direct contact with the owners of so many facilities in order to get access to so many options, comments Juha Hannulabacka.

The staff were allowed to vote for their favorites

After receiving the assignment, Toni rolled up his sleeves and delivered us 30 items that met the criteria on a short schedule. The list was reduced to 15 destinations, which we visited on site, coordinated by Toni. From these, we selected four items from which staff were allowed to vote for their favorites. The facilities of Kalasataman Työpaja, owned by Keva, next to Redi and the metro station, received more than half of the votes in the first ballot, so the decision on the new facilities was straightforward. In addition to the facilities, the choice of Työpaja was influenced by the services provided by the house, such as a lobby service, two lunch restaurants, a gym and a badminton court. The interest of Kalasatama as a developing region also influenced when people chose their favorites.

The premises were in good basic condition, but they were still being renovated to meet our needs. WakaWakaDesigns was responsible for the design of the premises, where the moss-lined Gapps letter built by InnoGreen gathers the attention it deserves. The premises are separated by a strip of conference rooms, which is accessible from both sides. The premises were taken into use in November 2021, so it took about half a year from the survey to the move, Juha Hannulabacka concludes.

CASE Gapps, Helsinki

Premises where it is easy to come from all directions and give a good reason to come to the office to work and meet colleagues.

Bright facilities on one level in Kalasataman Työpaja right next to the metro station.

Office 542 m²