ForTheDoers Blog

At Fortum, flexibility is the new normal

Eveliina Dahl 10 September 2021, 9:00 EEST

The pandemic has resulted in new ways of working, also at Fortum. We have developed new behaviours and methods for work and collaboration. As a company, we want to provide flexibility in our workplace, and we believe that a combination of remote and office work is suitable for many of our employees.

At Fortum, we have decided to implement a hybrid work model throughout our company, with a mix of office work and remote work for our employees working in a regular Fortum office environment. In line with our Open Leadership principles, we believe in our leaders and employees and our collective ability to find the most optimal solutions for each team in the new hybrid setting. Therefore, we are giving the teams and leaders the flexibility to find the best solutions for them to secure high performance, professional development, and personal wellbeing.

We believe in physical meetings and collaboration

As a company, we see many benefits of meeting and working together in the office. It promotes collaboration and personal relationships for our company’s future success. It also breaks the isolation that many of our employees have faced during the past year when working remotely full time. This is one of the reasons why we recommend our employees to spend at least a couple of days in the office when returning.

We see that the office can nurture relationships, information sharing, unstructured collaboration, and unexpected encounters. Our offices and the physical meetings foster a strong company culture, and therefore we see physical presence in the offices as part of our new set-up.

Inclusive leadership and strong self-leadership are crucial skills in the hybrid model

In a hybrid work setting, where employees can be working in the office as well as remotely, it is of utmost importance to treat everyone equally. In inclusive leadership, it is important to ensure that all team members are treated equally, feel valued, and get the support they need, regardless of a physical or virtual presence.

Hybrid work also relies on our strong personal ability to lead ourselves and to support each other in the setup. Together with our teams and managers, we agree on the common framework, and then we can structure and control our own part. As colleagues, we are all responsible for our own actions, for our own work morale, for our collaboration with colleagues, and for bringing out the best in ourselves and others.

If we all individually take responsibility for our own part, we become stronger as an entity. And by role modelling wellbeing, time management, and ways of working, our self-leadership capabilities grow.

Trainings and practical guidelines to support a smooth implementation

To ensure a smooth implementation of the hybrid work model at Fortum, we have developed practical guidelines to help our people to navigate in this new setting. The handbook consists of the key principles of hybrid work at Fortum, tools, and checklists for optimising the work and collaboration, as well as important sections on wellbeing, safety and security, and other risks to be considered.

During the autumn, we will hold trainings and workshops for our 800+ managers to practice the hybrid leadership. Workshops and seminars for all employees are also planned.

Continuous dialogue and feedback loops

During the pandemic, when 80% of our employees have been able to work remotely, we have regularly used surveys, workshops, and other feedback tools to gather the views and insights from our organisation. Together with our managers and employees, we have mapped the future needs to understand how to set up the work to enable the best performance and to ensure that we sustain our high levels of engagement and empowerment. These insights have helped us form the company-wide hybrid work model.

As we gradually return to the offices, we will continue to use dialogue and feedback to develop our way of working and to address areas in need of development.

For us, it is important to make all our employees feel included, regardless of where they do their work, and to create a sense of belonging. We believe that with a hybrid solution that secures dynamic collaboration and performance, and combines it with an optimal work-life balance, we can shape a better future workplace for everyone at Fortum.

Because we are not going back; we are going forward.

Eveliina Dahl, SVP People, and the Workforce 2.0 team

Ann Boije af Gennäs, Matti Kattainen, Päivi Urkola & Kristina Kinik

About Fortum Workforce 2.0

The global pandemic has not only impacted the human health situation, but also the corporate way of working. The strategic initiative “Workforce 2.0” was established to analyse what structured, long-term changes we need to implement at Fortum.

The core team consists of Ann Boije af Gennäs, Business Technology, Matti Kattainen, Generation, Päivi Urkola, People and Kristina Kinik, Group Communications. The core team has been working fully remotely during the pandemic and cooperating completely virtually.

Blog: About Workforce 2.0: We are not going back; we are going forward

Read more about hybrid work and the new role of the office in our previous blog here

Read about our Open Leadership here

Blog: Leading yourself is about accountability and freedom

Eveliina Dahl

Senior Vice President, People and Procurement

To the blog frontpage