Flexible work according to your

You can feel safe working at PKO, even if your ability to work declines for any reason. You may even find a new career direction through job trials.

Everyone’s ability to work varies at different stages of their career. It can be weakened by, for example, illness, accidents, excessive workloads, challenging life circumstances, or the changes ageing brings.

‘Our early support model aims to strengthen the culture of care in our workplace. At the same time, it ensures equal treatment for everyone,’ says Jari Jurvanen, occupational safety manager.

The challenges of coping with work can often be solved by modifying the person's job in their unit, for example, by reducing their workload. This isn’t always enough, and then we need to think about other solutions. One such solution can be a job trial in another unit, or even in another sector. If the job trial is successful, the person can be placed in the new unit.



Working in a dream industry continues

Riku Tuupanen, whose studies at Riveria focused on the restaurant industry, felt like he had arrived at his dream job when he was admitted to a traineeship at the BePop restaurant in 2016.

It didn’t take long for Riku to confidently oversee the sports bar Bar Play as the shift manager.

The work was exactly what he had been dreaming of – he could make food and drinks and create experiences for customers.

At first, nothing slowed him down, not even that he had broken his right ankle a while earlier. This happened at work during the busy preparations for the Karhurock festival in Kitee, where Riku had jumped from the back of a lorry while holding several drink crates.

Then there was a new accident. Riku tripped and broke his leg again, now in two different places. He got a cast on his foot, and the physiotherapist recommended rehabilitation exercises.

‘In hindsight, I can say that I was too indifferent about the importance of rehabilitation. When my foot really started to hurt, I had to seriously think about whether I could continue working at a job where you need to stand, walk, and lift loads. It was a shock.’

The working capacity negotiations resulted in looking for a new career direction for Riku. Riku knew that he wouldn't leave the restaurant business easily. Fortunately, PKO is a large operator, and the accommodation and food service business is one of its significant industries.

Riku now happily works as a marketing service manager in the travel and hospitality support operations. The transition was natural for Riku, who had already worked with social media and event organising.

Teksti: Pälvi Salo ja Kimmo Salo, translation: Riikka Kalajoki

Trading uncertainty for a new job

Aada Summala, who turned 20 in November, enjoys working in customer service. Her job at Sokos Restaurant was very pleasant, the days varied, and her colleagues were nice.

Then something bad happened. A strange rash appeared on Aada’s hands, which didn’t seem to get better. Despite many examinations, the cause of the rash was never found. Occupational healthcare handed down a seemingly harsh decision: Aada could not handle food products.

‘At first, the worst part was the uncertainty about what would happen – does this mean I won’t have work? But within a couple of months, I was relieved to hear that there was a new job available close by at the S-market on Kauppakatu.’

Aada works in the store at the cash register and with industrial food products. Her colleagues have welcomed the new employee. ‘You learn by asking questions,’ the young woman says. ‘The rash is still sometimes still there, but it’s been getting better.’



Teksti: Pälvi Salo ja Kimmo Salo, translation: Riikka Kalajoki

A big thank you to the employer

Rita Lumerto openly talks about her diagnosis in the spring of 2021. She learned that she was suffering from moderate depression, which explained many of her prior symptoms. Ten to fifteen per cent of people suffer from various affective disorders during their lives, which are a common reason for early retirement.

Rita says she really liked working at the small ABC Prisma, where she had started in April 2019. However, the job changed quite a bit when the employees from Voimatie were relocated into the Prisma cash register team. The work at ABC continued with shifts every other week.

Rita says that changes have always been difficult for her.

‘In addition, I have hypersensitivity, so a large and noisy environment didn’t work for me. Initially, I asked for and received shorter work shifts, but then things began to snowball. My sick days were one after another. The mental load began to appear as physical symptoms.’

When Rita reached the limits of sick leave, occupational healthcare contacted her manager. Rita’s spouse was also present at her working capacity negotiations.

‘At first, I was pretty confused. However, I felt good when I realised that everyone wanted to do their best to help me continue my career.

Her new home unit became the S-market in Penttilänranta, where Rita trained for a couple of months first and then started a full-time job in March after her job trial. The store is fairly new and quiet, with a nice group of employees and varied tasks.

‘I’m lucky. The employer has done a brilliant job and has been very flexible,’ Rita says.

Text: Pälvi Salo and Kimmo Salo, translation: Riikka Kalajoki


Finding the right solution

Ia-Päivikki Jaakkonen worked at PKO some ten years ago, left to study, and came back at the end of 2017.

Her job at ABC Siihtala – at Hesburger, in the kitchen and store – was very fast-paced, but it started getting tough with the addition of night shifts. They weren’t Päivikki’s thing.

Detergents, smoke, or indoor air? The cause of her continuous respiratory infections was never resolved.

‘I went through the early support discussion with the supervisor, and he suggested that I try working somewhere else. I have a salesperson's vocational degree, so transferring to the store didn’t seem like a bad idea.’

Her new home became the S-market in Niinivaara.

‘I feel privileged. My work is meaningful, and I can develop my skills. I appreciate the employer actively looking for new opportunities. The transition to another unit was the right choice for me.

Text: Pälvi Salo and Kimmo Salo, translation: Riikka Kalajoki