We are currently discussing whether we can co-locate our IT units. Putting them together creates possibilities for knowledge sharing. It makes sense because we are using the same infrastructure. But we have different systems so there are a lot of things that need to be sorted out.Like the State Treasury, the Patent and Registration Office has adopted activity-based working. They did so with some misgivings, however. In their old office, all the staff had either a private room or a shared room. They werentPlaces to chill out, designed for taking a break or looking forward to saying goodbye to that, fearing a noisychatting with colleagues (photo: Anna Autio). environment where they would not be able to do their job well. But there wasnt really much choice as activity-based working is standard policy within the Finnish government. The concept must be applied to any new office project, whether people like it or not.It turned out, however, that the concept wasnt as bad as people feared. After a brief period of familiarization, the Patent and Registration Offices employees proved to be quite happy with their new office. The areas with no talking rules work well and there has been a lot of praise for the acoustics. Another favourable factor was the Patent Offices decision to update its remote working guidelines, which now allow staff to work remotely for up to three days a week. All this is reflected in the satisfaction scores of the regular staff surveys conducted within the government. Scores have improved for both organizations. Mikko says, Our scores [at the State Treasury] were already good, but since the renovation they have even gotten a bit better. He reflects that activity-based working has become the new normal for people. People adjust. The concept isnt as shocking as people think beforehand. He warns, however, that it is important to keep an eye on how the concept works in everyday practice. You have to avoid the behaviour of a few individuals having negative consequences for the whole group. We had, for example, some colleagues who were rather loud. In such cases, you have to be straightforward and explain to your colleagues that they have to behave differently. He adds: People usually understand. We all want to work in a pleasant environment.