Sponda: Communal spaces provide an opportunity for integration

As competition for skilled employees gets more intense, organisations are investing in the
integration of their personnel into Finnish society. One key ingredient in this integration process is having communal facilities that also promote language-learning.

Eveliina Korpela, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, comments that as Finland is attracting more and more international workers, integration increasingly emphasises the importance of learning the local language. Employers are approaching the integration of these people more comprehensively than before. Companies operating in Finland play a significant role in the integration of immigrant workers, as state-supported language and integration programmes are mainly aimed at unemployed jobseekers.

Employees don’t want to be enclosed in an English-language company bubble – they want to be
comprehensively integrated into the new workplace and country. Research shows that language
learning has a significant impact on wellbeing and cultural inclusion, and language skills also affect career progression.

The office plays a key role in integrating and engaging employees from different countries

Having the best of international talent under your roof plays a major role in successful business. For example Unity Technologies Finland Oy, located in Sponda’s modern Citycenter Offices has 270 employees from a total of 40 nationalities. Knowledge workers moving to a new country are often dedicated experts who spend a lot of time at the office. This places the premises in a central role when it comes to integration. 

Social networks develop only when people meet and interact. The better the transport connections and local services where the office is located, the more effectively it brings people together. Communal spaces also provide an opportunity for interactions outside of working hours. An office located in the heart of the city or in a shopping centre can also serve as a base for a shopping trip, and a well-equipped game or movie room also attracts families to stop by the office.

In addition to optimal working conditions in the premises themselves, the importance of
participation and communality are essential. Premises contribute best to the social framework when they serve as an extension of the home and enable interactions not only between the employees themselves but also between their families.

Read our article to find out how to create facilities that support integration!