How the Finnish city of Lahti made more time for citizens, innovation, and sustainability

By John Ellis, - Future Workplace

It’s no new assertion to say the workplace has been shifting because of the pandemic. So, driven by the demand for better public services, this has caused a push for increased efficiency, often on a minimal budget in public sectors around the world. The fast-changing landscape points to a necessary drive for greater agility.

Good teamwork is a differentiating factor in a department’s ability to be agile. If teams can work seamlessly together, there’s less likely to be stop-start, which can cause huge delays to delivery, especially when you consider that 80% of an individual’s work is accomplished through collaboration.

Naturally, this co-working creates a much larger need for good technology. With the right tools, you can ensure files are shared safely and quickly, data is synced up so everyone is on the same page, and most importantly, enable the team to communicate in real-time.

However, the pandemic inadvertently disrupted the way most institutions across the globe work and emphasised public services’ criticality to local communities. And as a result of the disruption, remote and hybrid working are here to stay, with more than 90% of employers planning to adopt a hybrid working model for their employees, according to the Harvard Business Review. So, it’s more important than ever that colleagues and teams in different departments can continue to effectively work together no matter where they’re logged in from.

In Lahti – a city located in the south of Finland – its public body has begun transforming how it works by partnering with tech experts to increase its efficiency and futureproof the operations of its offerings. Lahti’s public body decided the city needed to align its services to accommodate their citizens’ growing demand for seamless digital services, as well as improve employee experiences.

In addition, as a European Green Capital, Lahti needed to funnel the time saved from working efficiently into initiatives focused on sustainability. So, working with a partner to enable this was paramount.


Bringing people and partners together

The city of Lahti recognised that smart technology had to facilitate its shift to increasingly efficient and agile working. The technologies it invested in had to adhere to government policies from the start, as well as be able to continuously evolve as policies inevitably change.

If collaboration were to take centrefold with this new approach, Lahti would also have to embody collaboration in its approach to the transformation project itself. So, the city decided to partner with Fujitsu to roll out Work Life Shift with Microsoft applications.

By partnering like this, Lahti could make use of its own knowledge on the day-to-day challenges of employees and citizens in different sectors, as well as gain specialist knowledge from Fujitsu’s service implementation expertise of Microsoft’s smart technologies.

Transforming Lahti’s public body’s operations

Our approach to improving Lahti’s operational efficiency and enhancing seamless collaboration within teams focused on three main areas:

  1. Secure and managed collaboration with external parties: Guest user life automation and strong authentication of guest users were rolled out across infrastructure to ensure employees could collaborate with those outside the business’ walls securely.
  2. Unified office documents: Microsoft Office document templates were installed in line with Fujitsu’s best practice, which may seem like a small move but is highly effective at reducing time spent on security long-term.
  3. Employee upskilling and adoption training: To ensure any changes rolled out were supported by employee upskilling without eating huge amounts of productivity time, we settled on regular 15-minute “Digivartti” style training sessions focused on enabling productivity while using Microsoft 365 applications.

But as we know, digital transformation isn’t a one-stop solution. Rather, it’s an ongoing process that allows organisations to continuously adapt to changes and remain agile. For this reason, we also have two ongoing initiatives:

  1. Unlock cloud collaboration and version control for files: We implemented OneDrive and SharePoint Online as the default file storage mediums for teamwork files.
  2.  Enable confident collaboration with Teams apps: We plan to roll out Teams application catalogue management with app permission and setup policies and setup.

Commendation from the city of Lahti’s leaders

The implementation of Fujitsu Work Life Shift with Microsoft applications successfully met the city of Lahti’s goals and has been met with great feedback:

“Strong authentication for guest users is starting to be a widely accepted basic requirement for organisations and with Fujitsu’s help it has now been implemented in Lahti. Unnecessary or unwanted guest identities have been purged from the environment. Also, the employee trainings arranged by Fujitsu focused on Microsoft 365 productivity have been hugely beneficial for personnel. It’s always necessary to track the actual impact and participation of these trainings to ensure employees feel confident in using Microsoft 365 services in their daily lives.” – Riina Honkanen, IT Production Manager, city of Lahti.

And about our ongoing initiative, Riina Honkanen, IT Production Manager, city of Lahti says: “When you consider the scale of the organisation and take into account the limited resources of our IT services, you can see that the support and deep expertise provided by Fujitsu has been essential in ensuring teamwork can continue in a managed and secure way when transitioning to a hybrid working culture. OneDrive, Sharepoint and Teams online services are relevant pillars to make hybrid working models possible across our environment.”


Time saved can be invested elsewhere

The city of Lahti’s main aim was to futureproof its operations by increasing efficiency within public services and its partnership with Fujitsu has certainly achieved this.

Now, as planned, the time saved from operating effectively is being funnelled into strengthening sustainability within the city. Especially focusing on innovations that will support a carbon neutral life, facilitate a circular economy, and create an environment that will nurture nature.

Accreditation from our partner

The partnership with the city of Lahti has been so successful that it’s contributed to Fujitsu being recognised by Microsoft for the Advanced Specialisation for Teamwork deployment award.

“The work that Fujitsu accomplished with the city of Lahti has been truly instrumental in gaining their Advanced Specialisation for Teamwork accreditation. Microsoft takes reviewing and awarding these accreditations quite rigorously and requires submitting partners to provide substantial evidence of their technical acumen and customer success in the specific field, in this case – Teamwork. Now with Fujitsu, a Microsoft Gold Certified Global Systems Integrator Partner, gaining their Advanced Specialization for Teamwork status, we’re confident that our customers can be reassured that they’re placing their implementation of Microsoft Teamwork solutions efforts in capable, competent hands when they choose to partner with Fujitsu.” – Nagi Punyamurthula, Worldwide Modern Work and Security Solution Area Director, Microsoft Corp.

With Fujitsu continuing to implement teamwork initiatives, other organisations can reap the rewards of greater efficiency, just like the city of Lahti.

If you have similar visions to the city of Lahti, you can find out more about Fujitsu Work Life Shift approach here.

Sources of Information

Lahti – European Green Capital 2021 (

Facts – Lahti (

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