October 25, 2019

Five for Friday: Solutions for healthier workspaces

Fancy feeling better at work? These Finnish innovations can help.
Julia Bushueva

Finnish innovators have developed some smart solutions to make modern workspaces healthy, comfortable and stress-free.

We spend at least a third of our day at work, long enough to take a toll on us both physically and emotionally. The quality of air and light, noise level and the amount of physical activity during working hours – everything impacts our productivity and overall wellbeing.

With the help of these five Finnish brands, it’s easy to create a healthier work environment and, as a result, to make the most the most of the working day.

720 Degrees

Offering a cloud-based analytics solution for indoor environmental quality monitoring, the company is committed to improving people’s lives. The tool developed by 720 Degrees allows organisations and building owners to offer the best working environments achievable.

Once a 720 Degrees measuring device is installed at the workplace, it constantly monitors the environment for air quality, noise levels and other factors. The results are transmitted to the company management or building owners. As an important bonus, the same data can also be accessed by the employees, who can then give their feedback.

“There are many companies specialising in indoor air measurements, but traditionally they only focus on chemical problems in the indoor air,” said Rick Aller, the COO at the time. “Our service helps to exclude these problems if needed and to look at other aspects in order to identify the reasons behind the employees’ wellbeing issues.”

Smartblock

According to this Helsinki-based company, better productivity begins with a calm state of mind. Quietness, however, is hard to achieve in the modern open-plan offices that foster collaboration but pose some serious challenges due to noise and lack of privacy.

Luckily, Smartblock has a solution: smart and mobile meeting pods and phone booths that can be easily installed in any public spaces, including offices and co-working spaces.

Made in Finland from start to finish, the Smartblock pods comfortably seat two to four people and can be equipped with all the audiovisual technology you need for work. Moreover, wheels make the pods so mobile that you can push them around with just one hand.

“We want to bring smart solutions to meetings, wherever they occur,” said CEO Kristian Sällström. “There is a large variety of places where people need to either escape the noise or be able to make noise without disturbing others.”

Naava

The goal of this Helsinki-based health technology company is to create healthier, happier and more inspiring workplaces. The solution it offers are smart green walls that not only bring nature into office environments, but also purify indoor air and optimise humidity.

Naava’s green innovation has already found its way into South Korea, the UK, Central Europe and North America. Now, the company is planning to expand its operations globally, especially in the world’s megacities.

“Our product offers an alternative to unhealthy indoor air, which is a global issue. We are able to provide a natural solution, be the problem mould, chemicals or air pollutants that are carried indoors,” co-founder Aki Soudunsaari told us in 2014, when the company was known under the name Naturvention.

Light Cognitive

Being exposed to natural light throughout the day is a great way to improve your health but an almost unaffordable luxury at work. This Helsinki-based innovator has designed a unique indoor lighting solution, called Big Sky, that recreates the feeling of being next to a big window or under the clear sky.

Based on ample research, the system mimics how the sky changes through the day from sunrise to sunset. All products can be individually adjusted and changed to different light scenes.

“Our product is a vast light field that simulates the light of the sky,” explained founder Sami Salomaa. “From a physics perspective, we have aimed to create light spectra similar to the horizon and colour transitions that are similar to those in nature. They happen in the right order and with the right intensity.”

The benefits of the smart lighting solution have been recognised far beyond Finland. Now, Big Sky installations can be found in London, Paris and Geneva workspaces, as well as hospitals, classrooms, restaurants, hotels and private homes.

Cuckoo Workout

Sitting behind a desk all day is anything but healthy. This break exercise application was specifically designed to get office workers off their chairs and moving and to bring a shot of fun and social interaction to the workplace.

Cuckoo Workout includes more than 400 short videos with exercises that are easy to follow and, if done regularly, will result in improved wellbeing and productivity. That’s why Cuckoo Workout attracts not only individual users, but also business customers.

“Just like companies want to provide their employees with tools and practices that increase efficiency and make working easier, they ought to look after the wellbeing and motivation of their employees as human beings,” stressed CEO Veera Lehmonen.

Text: Zhanna Koiviola

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