Encouraging Elisa employees to innovate future working methods

Laurea students found new ideas for Elisa to activate their personnel to develop work and working methods.

Students who participated in the Elisa project Hakan Kucukel (left), Arttu Parviainen, Bianca Iacoviello, Liisa Puumalainen and Pia Hurme.

What will work be like in the future and what kind of working environment would support changing work and working methods optimally? These were the challenging questions that the Laurea students who participated in the Service Design study unit this autumn sought to solve. The client for the study unit was the ICT company Elisa.

The starting point for the student assignment was the Elisa Ideal Work concept, which describes Elisa’s new work culture and working methods. The concept focuses not only on the physical working environment but also on the social and digital environment.

Piia Säylä, HRD Manager at Elisa, describes the concept as the desire to activate Elisa employees to develop their ways of working and to create an environment that would support this development optimally.

- “The assignment we gave to the students was also related to this. We wanted to find ideas for encouraging people to innovate new working methods and to contemplate what work in the future might be like.”

The participants in the study unit were 32 students from various fields of study: Business Management, Business Information Technology and Safety and Security. In teams, the students started to innovate to find solutions for Elisa, using various service design techniques, including personas and service paths. In addition, the teams tested prototypes at Elisa’s office in Pasila, Helsinki.

“We don’t have anything like this yet – the concept meets the client’s genuine need!”

The MVP team developed the We Care service concept that aimed to activate Elisa employees to take breaks during the working day. This could improve well-being at the workplace and strengthen the feeling of being cared for and looked after. The concept consisted of “break reminders”, a peaceful breakroom and 15-minute speed workshops for sharing practical tips for well-being at work.

- “We looked for ideas for various solutions and, halfway through the project, we introduced the first ideas to Elisa employees. On the basis of the feedback received, we continued the project by developing the best idea into a prototype,” says Arttu Parviainen, a student of Business Management and a member of the MVP team, describing how the project proceeded.

- “The project assignment was demanding as it took us time to grasp what the Elisa Ideal Work concept means,” notes Bianca Iacoviello, project participant studying Business Information Technology.

“Easy to adopt!”

The T3 team, consisting of students Liisa Puumalainen, Pia Hurme, Alexandre Berthon and Eero Lehvonen, developed the “Optimize yourself” service concept that provides Elisa employees with a model for a co-creation workshop. The goal of the concept is to improve time management, eliminate distractions and manage the flood of information in the digital, social and physical working environment.

Elisa has approximately 4,500 employees in different countries. During the project, the students had the chance to learn more about Elisa employees’ daily work by interviewing people working in different positions around Finland. The interviews proved to be very useful for the students and helped them to develop their ideas.

The project was completed in early December when completed ideas were introduced to the client at Elisa’s headquarters in Pasila. HRD Manager Piia Säylä found the student presentations very interesting:

- “The students had a lot of good ideas and many of the ideas we heard today could also be tried out in practice at Elisa,” she says.

- “On the whole, it was great to follow the teams’ work throughout the project and meet them every now and then.” 

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