Scandinavia is seen as a pioneer for good work culture – flat hierarchies, a strong team philosophy and family life considerations are taken for granted, and statistics repeatedly ascribe workers from the Nordic countries higher productivity with less stress. With "work away from work", Fabege, one of Sweden's largest property companies, has developed an office concept that goes far beyond the desktop edge of current office and work models. Work is spatially detached from the company office, a new idea that reveals benefits for the individual and for social coexistence. Three office locations, spread across Stockholm, were created – and equipped with ERCO Jilly downlights for track and Casambi controls.
Anyone who has ever driven through Stockholm in the rush hour knows that its centre, as in almost any of the world's big cities, resembles the eye of a needle. Travelling to the office or to a business appointment becomes pure stop-and-go stress. Fabege counters this phenomenon with its concept of "work away from work", or WAW for short. The office comes to the employee. At three locations in Stockholm, Fabege offers its own employees and all tenants of its properties a free co-working office infrastructure.
All sites have good public transport connections and are a maximum of five kilometres from the city centre. As a consequence the car is often replaced by train or cycle - a relief for the individual, the traffic and the environment. "We aimed to develop a concept that does justice to people as employees and in their roles as mums and dads," explained Klaus Hansen Vikström, Executive Vice President of Fabege. Each user can select the location that is closer to his or her home or kindergarten. With the Fabege app they can also easily book into their WAW location and reserve meeting rooms. The interior architecture and design are reminiscent of cosy cafés, combined with modern work areas. The interior, colours and flexibly adjustable light with high visual comfort create pleasant and inspiring surroundings.
"A good place to work should entice and inspire the creative side of people," attested Joaquim de Abreu, lighting designer at the WAW locations. Being a native Swede he has always had a special relationship to light. "I grew up with the northern light and I've seen in what unique ways light can emphasise details. Daylight forms the basis of every lighting concept. Then I add artificial light where needed," he explained.
The lighting concept in the WAW locations moves away from traditional design approaches in offices. "I wanted to avoid carpets of light at all costs," said Joaquim de Abreu, meaning areas with identical quantities of light. "We've created a dramatic lighting setting with strong accentuation. We subdivide the room area into different zones and use light only as strongly as needed. The light adapts to the intended environment," he continued. This called for a flexible track infrastructure and luminaires with high visual comfort and intuitive control. In addition to ERCO spotlights and pendant luminaires, he also specified Jilly as the downlight for track. All luminaires can be controlled wirelessly via Casambi and a smartphone or tablet app. "It's the simplest way to programme light scenes. The application is intuitive, and that makes the installation much more flexible than a normal control system," said the lighting designer.