Understanding the nature of work and the needs it causes
Arja Raukola Oy is a personnel service company that recruits and hires staff members in the Finnish metropolitan area of Pirkanmaa. In addition, Raukola supplies psychologists’ assessments to support the recruiting decisions. The company specializes in helping its customers to find experts in financial management, sales and marketing, engineering, design and clean indoor jobs.
The work of Raukola’s staff includes travel and customer visits, but mainly focuses on tasks in the office and in front of the screen. Investing in well-being at work has previously been more random and based on imagination. Unfortunately there were no proper tools to realize the ideas in a right way.
As a first step the ergonomics of the working conditions have been promoted by recently acquired electrical desks. The need for body maintenance and small physical exercises during working breaks has been well known, as even occasionally backbone and neck-to-shoulder pain as well as low levels of nervousness have been decreasing work efficiency and may also have interfered with leisure time. The members of the Raukola’s board are active people, so planning the installation of facilities for exercise breaks has been longer on their agenda.
What was not wanted?
After discussing the matter, the female-dominated team came to the conclusion that the office should not have a gym-looking workout station. While the facilities are limited, the equipment should be well suited to the interior design of the office and therefore be immediately available for short exercises — without disturbing the aesthetic harmony.
It would be pointless if the employees would need to take longer breaks or leave the office in order to use the facilities. Now the workout station is located at the center of the Arja Raukola’s office at the graps of all employees.
Why FitWood was the best solution?
As the matter had been already on the company’s agenda for at least a year, it was easy to proceed when FitWood made the contract. Right at the first meeting, they decided to order FitWood Trollstigen wallbars, gym rings and power bands to attach the wallbars, a massage roller and a set of stretching sticks. With this package, it is possible to stretch and train the muscles — regardless of the physical level of the staff. To mention the wallbars, accompanied with gym rings and power band, they provide an almost unlimited range to improve mobility, muscle strenght, and thus vitality during the working day. Compared to traditional Swedish wallbars, FitWood was able to offer a modern design and the most versatile functional workout station at the same time.
Everything was delivered and assembled after three days. “For us it was a relief, that we could have the whole package as assembled and installed. Together with FitWood’s representative we were able to choose the most reasonable set for us. It was a smooth process for us. Since then, the tools have been used daily by basically every team member”, says Eeva-Maija Hiekkataipale, the Area Manager.
What has been done to improve the energy levels during the day?
In practice, FitWood Trollstigen wallbars has become the favorite: “I especially like the stylish look of the wall bars, which catches the eye pleasantly and completes the interior. If you think about having a versatile, multifunctional workout station to an office like ours, I really think this is the best you can have. We have done a lot of stretches, openings for our upper backs, bodyweight rowing, abdominals, hanging and even pullups — with and without assistance. In the beginning, we wondered if the installation to the light wall will stand.However, there has been no problem, everything was clearly professionally done. We have used all of the equipment, but have not done every exercise that would be possible to do with them yet”, Eeva-Maija laughs.
In addition to the wallbars, massage rollers and stretching sticks are used regularly to relax the back and shoulders of the employees. “In my opinion, we chose just the right equipment, because here it is not possible to do longer-lasting sweat training anyway. The exercises give you an activating time-out during the working day and help to remove tensions. If it comes to me, I have to train the resistance of my back regularly”, Eeva-Maija continues.
The leader leads the workplace by example — wanted or not
“I’m hobbying the gym, cycling and skiing. After the wallbars came to the office, I have started to stretch and train my abdominals daily by lifting my legs. It has clearly given a boost to my energy levels. That’s why I’m so enthusiastic — this is a really good thing!”, says Arja Raukola, founder and CEO. At the same time she is concerned about her future health: “On every birthday you realize that you will burn out mentally and physically if you do not take care of yourself.”
Arja also strongly believes that the company’s management, by its actions, should be an example of its true values for the whole staff. She always wanted to take good care of her employees. Therefore she invested with pleasure in their well-being and comfort. Eeva-Maija Hiekkataipale and Ulla Kauppi, who are standing next to her, are radiating enthusiasm for the company and you can feel the good working atmosphere. Arja also wants to be a good example of the impacts of sports. “It brings positive energy for the whole community at work. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that our financial ratios are well above the industry’s average,” says Arja with a blink in her eyes.