We’re planning on relocating our Helsinki office to Kamppi in the beginning of 2015. Before deciding on the new office location, we conducted surveys to figure out how our employees commute, and how they prefer to commute. However, the actual impact on our employees’ traveling times was unclear.
To take a more data-driven approach, I sent a survey about people’s approximate addresses and preferred ways to commute to both the old office in Lauttasaari and to the new office in the city centre. In three days, 113 out of 150 employees answered.
The following conclusions are based on multiple assumptions, making them less accurate. For example, people often take some shortcuts while bicycling, prefer specific routes for cars or have to take detours during commute (for example, to pick up kids from daycare). Furthermore, not everyone has to travel during the worst peak hour or even visit the office more than once a week.
If our assumptions are at least decent, moving to Kamppi is better for almost everyone. Using people’s preferred transportation methods, the median travel time to the old Lauttasaari office was 28,6 minutes (one-way). To the Kamppi office, the same metric is 24,9 minutes. The same numbers for winter are 30,4 minutes and 24,0 minutes, respectively. During summer, 68% of employees will get a shorter commute, and during winter 75% will. The difference between summer and winter is explained by different transportation methods. People who will win on commute times get 12/15 minutes shorter commute. The unfortunate minority will have nine minutes more per direction.
By moving the office to Kamppi, Futurice employees will save 24 hours of travel time for a single day if everyone comes to the office. Of course, this is arbitrary and rather meaningless metric.
Travel times by car were obtained from Google Maps (with traffic estimates). The assumption was that everyone will leave the office at 16:15, which is approximately the worst peak hour. Obviously not everyone is commuting during the peak hour, but this assumption biased the data against the new office location. Furthermore, for the new office, for travel by car, an extra 10 minutes of travel time was added to allow slower parking in a parking hall.
For public transportation, the shortest of three suggestions after 08:00 from reittiopas was used. No initial waiting time was counted (so that if the connection is at 08:25, 08:00–08:25 is not counted as traveling time).
By bicycle or by foot, distances shorter than two kilometers were counted as walking, and longer distances as bicycling. Obviously for some, this is a flawed assumption (for example, more than one employee regularly runs to work). The cycling/walking journey planner was used for bicycling and walking times.
Futurice stayed in Lauttasaari for nine years, but now it is good time to move our office to a new premises. After a few years, we’ll probably consider moving again, as our business and employees’ life situations change.