GTK 2.0 — Future Location Independent Work — Change Program

What are modern working methods like in the researcher organisation of public administration? In the GTK 2.0 — Future Location Independent Work — Change Program we test and develop a new multi-location culture open-mindedly as one of the pioneers in the public administration.

In early 2020, there was a quick shift to remote work in Finland, and we at the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) also quickly moved to home offices. It soon became clear that remote work had come to stay in part. A thought came up among us: what will work look like in the future? How could we learn from the experiences of the pandemic time in the best possible way and utilise all the good aspects of the situation?

The thinking quickly led to actions. In January 2021, the GTK 2.0 — Future Location Independent Work — Pilot started at GTK, aiming at streamlining the work of GTK’s employees in the new hybrid everyday life – to create a basis for a novel multi-location culture. We tested and conceptualised, for example, new office and workspace models, modern technology and information system solutions, a new kind of development of the expertise of personnel as well as the means to build communality in multi-location work.

The successful GTK 2.0 pilot ended at the end of February 2022 and went on directly as a change programme. The change programme work has sharpened to three foci: supporting managerial work, strengthening the new culture and developing communications in the work community. Alongside these, we will also continue developing the genuine multi-locality and deployment of the technology and tools of location independent work.

By means of the change programme, we shall raise our method of working to a new level and ensure our readiness to develop our activities expediently in the future as well.

The project team of the change programme consists of experts in public administration, working life and technology. Our partners are  Government ICT Centre Valtori, Ministry of Finance, Senate Properties, Fujitsu Finland, CSC – IT Center for Science and Elisa.

GTK 2.0 note
Photo: Otso Alasko / GTK

Three Foci of the Work

We have defined three foci for the change programme whose objectives and actions are closely interconnected. We work with agile Scrum methods. Our project team includes professionals of the geological field, ICT, communications, service design, HR, acquisitions and work environments.

Supervisor support

Supervisors play a key role in GTK’s culture change. They set an example in working methods and guide GTK’s employees in everyday life. It is therefore important to support supervisors’ work and enable the direction of multi-location work.

In the chnage programme, the focus is promoted, for example, by interviews, trainings and workshops in which the key challenges of supervisor work are addressed.

Strengthening the new culture

At the turning point of working life and in adopting new multi-location working methods, we should ask what good there is in our culture and what, on the other hand, leads us away from our objectives. It is important to stir ourselves up to perceive which old ways we must give up and what new things we should learn.

By means of the GTK 2.0 change programme, we verbalise our culture. We facilitate joint discussion on the state of GTK’s culture and on the objectives for the future. As the end result, we aim both at mutual understanding of the cornerstones of our culture and a written summary of them: GTK’s own culture handbook.

Development of work community communications

Communications in the work community enable GTK’s culture change, and all GTK’s employees are involved. However, there are things we can improve in work community communications by means of thchange programme. We have started to build a partnership model which provides training and sparring for GTK’s employees in the organisation’s internal communications, from larger projects to the teams’ reciprocal communications. In addition, we shall focus, among other things, on the development of communications in the work community in English, as our personnel is becoming increasingly international.

We shall also continue renovations of premises, experiments in sharing and the development of the framework of multi-location work. We shall also invest in the development of technological solutions fitting the needs of GTK’s employees, focussing particularly on cloud based solutions.

Hands holding wheels together
Photo: franckreporter / Getty Images

Impact on the Whole Central Government

Even though we’re currently renewing our own work culture and ways of working, GTK 2.0 Change Program has an impact to the public administration in whole. GTK 2.0 means creating something larger than just change in internal culture for GTK. We’re aiming to come up with a tool for modernizing the ways of work for everyone in central government, whenever applicable. This allows us to bring central government work culture to a completely new level.

We’re keen on sharing our experiences, experiments and results with everyone. Please follow our work in social media, our hashtags are #uusinormaalityö and #newnormalwork! We’re also happy to discuss things with organizations facing similar changes and share more information in our interest group events. Please don’t hesitate to contact us!

GTK 2.0 change program

What we are experimenting on: