Nov 27, 2018 Pauliina Alanen
“All the open offices have the same need. With removal of private rooms, doors and cubicles, came the noise, constant ringing of the phone and zero silent space. We wanted to take the calmness of having your own room, and put it into a modern work environment.”, begins Ilkka. Indeed, Framery, founded already back in 2010 has been riding the open office wave, putting together the pros and pros of both office types.
The journey to a 220-person company has included many phases. Still, however, the company has most of its employees at its heart in Tampere, Finland’s third biggest city in the middle of the country. In addition, Framery has a global sales team located all around the world; New York, Boston, San Francisco, London, Zurich and Bangkok – just to name few. The product work, from designing, product development to producing happens in Tampere. “The growth has been overwhelming, We’re quite different from what we were a year ago. I’d say one Framery year counts as 4–5 years elsewhere.” Ilkka comments.
Framery’s most well-known product is the “O”, a phone booth half made of wood, half of glass. Inside, the walls are covered with felt, and the booth has a small desk, including a charger and an adjustable chair. The phone booth has built-in air ventilation system and it is pretty much sound-proof. The color and the look is customizable according to your brand.
This year, Framery will feature its meeting room “Q” for 1-on-1s at Slush. With similar design to the phone booth, the “Q” meeting booth has enough room and fresh air for 2–4 people, a charging station, comfy couches, a small table and even a cloak hanger. Making a larger meeting booth makes sense, as meeting rooms tend to be always full and this is a quick way to get extra space.
Framery is number 32 in Financial Time’s 1000 Fastest growing European companies list. In addition, their CEO Samu Hällfors was just selected EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2018. What’s the secret for the success? Ilkka names one major event that changed the direction of the company in 2015: Neocon, the world-class design conference in Chicago. “It was expensive, but thinking back definitely worth it.” Ilkka says. Prior to that though, the company got its first big boost when Twitter suddenly ordered a batch of phone booths.
Coming up with a working strategy and product required a lot of thinking, streamlining, re-defining the strategy and listening to the customer feedback. In 2014 Framery cut down almost its entire product portfolio, leaving just the “O” and focusing on making it the best phone booth. “Even when we knew what we wanted to do, we still didn’t know much about office furniture sales. With a physical product, we needed to build a solid supply chain and cash flow. This almost took the company down.” Ilkka admits.
Framery is taking Finnish design to the most successful companies of the world. Despite the fast-pace, Framery and Slush still keep what they share close to their heart: making spontaneous meetings happen in a better environment.
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