VTT’ers summerly workdays are cheered up by praises and walking meetings

News, People stories

The purpose of the New Work programme, launched at VTT just under a year ago, is to ensure that our top teams can do high-quality work. We have been building the world's most meaningful workplace through practical experiments since the beginning of this year. The two new experiments in our programme support wellbeing at work and promote an emotionally intelligent operating model through giving thanks and micro recognition.

Long meetings in front of the computer and little movement during the working day are challenging for our wellbeing. In June, we launched a wellbeing experiment that encourages people to walk and exercise during meetings. The experiment is promoted by a small walking icon, which is easy to add to a meeting invitation. It serves as a hint for participants that they can also attend the meeting by walking. 

“For a creative organisation like us, new ideas are vital. Outdoor activities during the day can activate thinking, and changing the environment brings new ideas and perspectives. Research shows that being in nature also increases creative thinking and reduces stress. Breaks away from the computer promote recovery during the day and increase wellbeing and coping,” says Peppi Härme, who oversees the wellbeing experiment.

Agile culture of thanking

During the spring, VTTers have participated in a coaching package on emotionally intelligent management, in which has been discussion about giving thanks and how important it is. While introducing emotional intelligence to management, we also want to bring it to our whole organisational culture. We wanted to support the promotion of an emotionally intelligent operating model in practice as well and provide a new technological route for expressing thanks. The experiment of saying thanks is supported by the Praise tool in the Viva Insights application, which allows you to send encouragement icons and thank you messages to colleagues. 

“Positive feedback and giving thanks are of enormous importance. It’s a great resource for both the recipient and the person who gives them, and, at work, it’s an encouraging factor that people still hesitate to use to a sufficient extent. However, giving and receiving feedback are skills that we can learn and always become better at,” says Sari Ek-Petroff, who oversees the experiment.   

Top teams need proper tools to support them

In VTT's New Work programme, new experiments and working methods are considered from several perspectives. Petri Kujala, CIO and Vice President, Information Management, at VTT is involved in the programme and, with his team, develops experiments from a technological perspective. 

“There are many different tools available for supporting new ways of working. First, however, it is important to identify what impact is being sought, and then consider which tool would best support the goals. For example, the Praise application currently in trial lowers the threshold for giving thanks when you can send a quick encouraging picture message to a colleague. We also have been making plans for going back to the office quite a while now and considering how we could use technologies to support new working methods and, for example, hybrid work. Here too, we have already found a technology that we can utilise in the autumn,” Kujala says.         

Jenni Santalo
Jenni Santalo