Recruiting the right people

When SEB wanted to bring its employees in Stockholm together under one roof, they chose Arenastaden – a decision that’s had a positive effect on both the bank’s finances and its recruitment opportunities.

SEB chose to leave its offices in Södermalm, Stockholm city centre and Rissne to move into newly built premises in Arenastaden in Solna. Apart from bringing everyone together under one roof, the move provides an opportunity to develop a pleasant office environment adapted to today’s professional contexts and appealing to those the bank wishes to recruit.

“When we decided on Arenastaden, we launched a change management initiative to open up the premises so that we could meet each other more easily and thus change the way we work,” says Viveka Hirdman Ryrberg, head of Group communications at SEB.

The fact that the offices were built for SEB provided unique opportunities to influence their design. The choice was made to give the three buildings different identities: Home, Urban and Park. In the Home section, the focus is on creating a home away from home, with sofas, armchairs and floor lamps. In the Urban portion, the informal meeting spaces instead take the form of high tables and chairs, and in the Park the focus is on greenery.

“The premises have been built to suit us and today’s working life. We’ve had the opportunity to design the premises based on our needs, with large common areas, natural meeting spaces, opportunities for exercise, and a cafe and dining room. All this is very important to us, and we believe it’s attractive to those people we wish to employ.”
At Fabege we’re well aware of the importance of informal meeting spaces in the current work environment.

“If the premises don’t allow for spontaneous and flexible meetings and quick checks with people, this sometimes results in irritation and impedes productivity. Both closed offices and open meeting spaces are in demand to an increasing extent as cooperation and cross-functional teams become more common,” says Gunilla Cornell, head of HR at Fabege.

There were several reasons why SEB chose Arenastaden.
“Arenastaden has good communications, which is also extremely important for us. There are commuter and light-rail trains, and a metro station is in the pipeline. More and more people want to cycle to work, so we have 1,200 parking spaces for bikes in the building.”
Gunilla Cornell thinks that the location is becoming increasingly significant in terms of opportunities to recruit the right people.

“In a time where the work-life balance is becoming increasingly crucial, it may be a decisive factor that communications between work and home are quick and easy. Also, the range of shops and restaurants often plays a key role. The opportunity to fit in a workout or a visit to the hairdresser’s while at work makes everyday life much simpler,” she says.

The move has also meant that SEB has been able to reduce its costs for premises by 25 percent, partly because it has left the inner city but also because the space is used in a more effective manner. Viveka Hirdman Ryrberg thinks that the move has also had other positive effects.

“Many were hesitant towards leaving the city centre, but now we have a completely different energy level here that I believe comes from the design of the premises and the fact that we have invested in an attractive physical environment. It doesn’t look like a traditional bank in these buildings, and I think this boosts our recruitment opportunities.”

Created: 21 May 2018

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