Office Space of the Future (Part 1/2)


Office space has evolved alongside technology, culture and our attitude towards the division of work and life. Where traditionally we were expected to maintain a “work/life balance”, the two are now more integrated than ever. With employers realizing this, they are making an effort to create work environments that are more livable, while maintaining productivity. Technology that allows employees to work from anywhere raises the stakes for office space, and forces them to add value or risk being redundant and resented in the eyes of employees. Innovative companies encourage employees to bring their dogs into the office, participate in yoga sessions, discuss work over Ping-Pong and incorporate fun into the workplace in ways that were unheard of in the not-too-distant past.

Ahead of the curve in terms of using innovative office space, are not surprisingly, the same companies who create the most innovative products, high-tech firms. In celebration of the return of high-tech to Ottawa, let’s discuss the most innovative office space in Ottawa, and the rest of Canada.

Leading the pack of resurgent high-tech firms in Ottawa, located on six floors at 150 Elgin St. is Shopify. Shopify has the most innovative space in Ottawa, and is a contender for one of the top spots across Canada. Their 102,000 sq.ft. office space boasts a combination of hidden nooks, open meeting spaces, private phone booths and indoor cabins. Each area has an ultra-modern design with splashes of colour and quirk.


Innovative areas that stand out in the Shopify headquarters are the coffee bars, a yoga studio, an arcade and a racetrack for tricycles! The design for the space was inspired by their office culture. Policies such as the one that permits employee’s flexibility in terms of their work hours were considered to account for all activities that may take place within Shopify’s walls.

Another contender for the most innovative Canadian office space has a similar start-up story as Shopify, but started out on the other side of the country. Vancouver’s own Hootsuite, is another high-tech company that integrates its culture into their office space, with amazing results! Sharing a cabin theme with Shopify, Hootsuite uses wooden log walls, tents as meeting rooms, and has a Canadian outdoors styled napping room.


Moving on to Toronto, the Canadian broadcast company Corus Entertainment has an office space that looks more like an amusement park than a workplace, at first glance. Corus Entertainment specializes in broadcasting children’s programs, and incorporates that theme into its office space.


While few offices have the room for a three-story indoor slide, it’s the effort to allow company values to inspire design that resonates with employees. Several new high tech firms in Ottawa have raised significant capital over the past few years that will potentially allow for some noteworthy office space. With this new face of Ottawa’s high tech scene in its infancy, Shopify is likely the first of many to create a space worthy of attracting talent from all over the world.

If you are interested in taking a look at the most innovative office space, and office buildings on earth, subscribe to our posts because part 2/2 is coming soon! here!


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