The right kind of business culture

Jonni Aho is a screenwriter in Banijay Finland. He started in Solar Television in 2008 as a screenwriter and creative producer.


I’m just finishing a 13-hour working day on the set of “The David Hasselhoff Show”. One can of beer is buzzing in my head, I am bloody tired. This is a perfect moment to contemplate, what it’s like to work in Solar.

Jonni Aho

Before I became a regular in 2008, I had been in and out of the premises as a freelancer for a couple of years. My first reaction was that “this is my kind of place”. People from all walks of life were coming in and out. Some had alcohol fumes in their breath but the business was always taken care of. I also received a crash course of the business culture à la Solar: “There’s a desk. Do your job – and no one bothers you”.

Respecting the work people do – that is a feature in Solar that I’ve always liked. The most important factor is that things get done. People direct their energy to their work, instead of whining, fiddling or moaning. The office is a comfortable, cozy place to work at. You come there like you’d come to your own home. It’s a different thing to enter a house adjacent to the sea shore, than to work in the belly of an industrial block of flats somewhere on ring road III. When you come to Solar, the house is never empty or dark. Ida is smiling, the candles are burning – this you’ll see through the windows before you even open the door. The day starts with a cup of coffee and a serious session of bullshit – which can also be called the press review of the day.

The taxi trip back to Helsinki on the next day took nine hours.

Respecting the work also means that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. The recreational events of the company don’t take place on Fridays after the office hours – but on Wednesdays in the middle of the day or on Thursdays or whenever. If you do your work, without counting the hours, why should you be patting your workmate to the back in your own time? I’m not saying that it isn’t nice as well – but headaches are easier to suffer when you get paid for it.

When the television department I work for once won a few Venla awards in a gala held in Tampere, the taxi trip back to Helsinki on the next day took nine hours. We made several pit stops here and there, including one in a hospital. Someone had broken his leg – but the music never stopped. We were also trying to hire a private plane, with no luck.

In every department, Solar is a reasonable place to work at. If you need money, the cash box will help you out. The fridge always has ham and cheese. The Christmas presents have been of the liquid kind, instead of candle holders. All the deals that have been made, have been respected.

A lot of movies and TV programs have been produced – and it’s been great to feel the spirit and the attitude of the people making them. Now it’s time to have another beer and then, to hit the sack. Tomorrow it’s another long day with The Knight Rider. Working is a job for real men – and women!