Tree Canada’s focus was less about the numbers (i.e. dollars and square footage) but instead on the importance of a space that encouraged employees to want to come back into the office. They wanted a location that would allow staff to socialize with their co-workers, and be part of their community. As we like to say at Real Strategy, “Incredible People Deserve Amazing Space”!
Although working from home has its benefits, Danielle is confident that a purely remote approach is not the most efficient, at least not all of the time. Sometimes it’s simply easier and makes more sense to go up to someone at their desk, ask them a quick question, and then move on to the next item without having to go through the process of cross-referencing a shared calendar, scheduling a virtual meeting, etc.
Seeing and being around each other at work also helps build friendships, credibility, and community within a team. For these reasons and more, Danielle made sure to advocate for a location and office space that fostered interaction as part of Tree Canada’s return to work and hybrid strategy post-pandemic.
“We like to interact with each other. We like going for lunch together or for drinks after work. We have a lot of respect and appreciation for each other and our community, so we wanted these things to be at the forefront of coming back to the office.” — Danielle St-Aubin (Chief Executive Officer, Tree Canada)
More than just a new office…
At the old location, there were older work stations that were bulky, heavy, and took up lots of space. At the new location, the work stations have been streamlined and modernized so that safety concerns surrounding physical distancing can still be adhered to.
Beyond that, every work station is close to a window and has access to natural light and scenic views of the neighbourhood. In addition, there’s natural colours in the form of soft, muted greens as well as lots of plants throughout the office, evoking the identity of the organization. The design marries a modern and streamlined workspace with the serenity of an oasis, an environment where work can take place but in a calming and natural setting.
“By incorporating more functional workstations that weren’t oversized, we created a lot more openness in the floor plan. The streamlined version allowed us to satisfy a lot more user needs like space, light, etc.” — Gillean Woods (Principal, TRUform Interiors)
Limitations often spawn creativity. Although this was a smaller office project with a tight budget, everyone involved was inspired to deliver. From the landlord who invested in the building to accommodate the bike locker and shower needs, to the real estate team at Real Strategy who found them a great home, to TRUform Interiors’ outstanding design of the office… working together meant everyone accomplished more!
“Working with authentic, genuine people along with the cause-based nature of the organization enhanced the whole experience and made the project very rewarding!” — Gillean Woods (Principal, TRUform Interiors)