This Nordic city takes remote work to the woods: now you can work in the middle of the forest
Finland is known to be a pioneer in flexible work life and appreciation for the well-being of employees, even before the pandemic. Now Lahti, the European Green Capital 2021, wants to encourage its residents to enjoy the calming effect of nature and has therefore set up remote workstations in the city’s nature sites free for everyone to use.
The way we work has changed significantly and remote work has come to stay. However, people are now longing for hybrid solutions and increasingly value their own freedom to determine the place and time for work. Many have also found themselves to nature more often in between meetings and have awakened to the importance of nearby nature. That is why Lahti, the European Green Capital 2021, has built remote workstations in nature to remind us of both the diversity and the calming effect of nature.
The workstations, named Viita, are located all over the city from parks to wilderness: this way during the workday remote workers have the opportunity to admire the diverse nature of Lahti. Locality is reflected in both the design and execution of the Viita workstations. The workstations have been made by a local company Upwood, and a team of students from LAB Institute of Design and Fine Arts has been involved in the process.
Viita workstations combine Nordic design and nature in a functional way
– The design of these workstations reflects ecology, locality and functionality. They combine the roundness of trees and breathing nature, helping the workstations to blend into surrounding nature. Viita workstations are unique in terms of usability, and differ from traditional camping tables due to their functions that are specifically designed for remote working. They include a telephone and a cup holder, an area for one’s laptop, a place to put one’s pens and a possibility to hang a bag or purse, says Umberto Onza, an industrial designer from TBWA Helsinki, who led the designing process.
Viita workstations are made of Finnish spruce, which is durable material for outdoor use. The use of spruce has a long history in Finland, and as a material it represents the Finnish forest at its best. The workstations are attached to trees so that no harm is done to the trees after installation and removal.
Spending time in nature boosts wellbeing
The global pandemic and the shift to remote work has made work communities consider the importance of well-being at work from a new perspective. Spending time in nature has many benefits on our overall well-being, as it can at best improve one’s mood and reduce stress. Thanks to the new workstations in Lahti, it is now possible to combine remote work and nature in a convenient way and thus boost one’s energy.
– Forests play a major role in building an ecologically sustainable future, but they also offer opportunities for relaxation in the midst of hectic everyday life. In the midst of remote working, many have found that nature has positive effects on mood, says Saara Piispanen from Lahti – the European Green Capital 2021 project.
Viita workstations will be in use for the first time this autumn as a part of the Green Capital Year. Lahti also encourages other actors to set up workstations and shares the drawings for open use.
Read more about the Viita workstations from here.
For more information
Head of Communications, Lahti – European Green Capital 2021
tel. + 358 44 416 4680