Elevating Work-Life: ICI’s New Culture-Based Workspace
As companies worldwide continue to grapple with the complexities of hybrid work, remote work, and traditional in-office models, Canada ICI’s investment in a new office space in downtown Edmonton offers valuable insights on how businesses can adapt to the evolving needs of their workforce. In this article, we delve into the inspirations, considerations, and outcomes of Canada ICI’s office transformation, exploring how their innovative approach has not only enhanced employee productivity and satisfaction but also reflected the company’s core values and commitment to sustainability.
Designing For the Future of Work
When negotiating a lease in the uncertain landscape of 2021, Brandon Kot, the managing partner at Canada ICI in Edmonton recognized that the new office space needed to evolve to keep up with the needs of an evolving team. He, along with Canada ICI’s design team (Laurie Snider with Edgewise Licensed Interior Design, Design Works Engineering, Synergy Construction, and Solutions Business Interiors), all worked together on creating a space that would be guided by the principles of iteration, interaction, and alignment. The result is a layout that incorporates phone booths and quiet spaces for focused work, as well as a central planning table for collaborative brainstorming and problem-solving.
By designing the space with the developing employees in mind, rather than the needs of executives or the partners, Canada ICI has created an environment that aims to serve the company’s next generation of talent.
Our first and second year associates working shoulder to shoulder alongside our principals and partners in the same space and in the same fashion. It’s a reflection of our organization’s values.Brandon Kot
Inspiration and Furniture Selection
To strike a balance between contemporary and natural elements, Canada ICI opted for modern furniture from Haworth, supplied by their preferred Haworth dealer, Solutions Business Interiors. The company understands that interior design and furniture play a psychological role in shaping the work environment. For example, some seating encourages a more relaxed posture, leading to more open conversations. Natural light leads to increased productivity.
Canada ICI’s new office space is designed to reflect the company’s values of teamwork, collaboration, transparency, equality, and mentorship. By creating an open space where senior members and new employees work side by side without any hierarchy, the company fosters an environment where information is shared, learning is encouraged, and collaboration is the norm.
Shanna Dorsch, Vice President, Market Development at Solutions Business Interiors, commented, “The ICI team had a very clear vision for their new space and intentionally kept what was important to them at the forefront of the design. In conjunction with Laurie Snider (Edgewise Licensed Interior Design) and the ICI stakeholders, the team worked through a deliberate and thoughtful design process incorporating elements that support a positive and inspiring work environment, boosting employee morale and ultimately contributing to the success of ICI. The entire team was terrific to work with, and the results speak for themselves.”
The new office design has been met with positive feedback from clients, customers, and team members alike. Though the transition from private offices to an open layout required some adjustment, employees have adapted to their new workspace, recognizing the benefits of increased alignment, cooperation, and more efficient training for new team members. The inviting environment encourages Canada ICI team members to be present, share ideas, and celebrate progress.
One of the best parts of our work environment is that it feels welcoming, like a second home. It’s fun bantering and ribbing each other back and forth at our family-style kitchen table while we’re having lunch.Reese Rolheiser
Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Design
Canada ICI’s commitment to sustainability is further demonstrated by their choice of location: Stantec Tower in Edmonton, Alberta. As one of the more sustainable buildings in Western Canada, the tower boasts numerous eco-friendly features such as a green roof, rainwater harvesting, and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. Additionally, the tower’s proximity to public transportation and bike lanes encourages employees to adopt more sustainable commuting habits.
Canada ICI’s evolving office space in downtown Edmonton serves as a case study for companies navigating the ever-changing landscape of work. By prioritizing employee needs, embracing core values, and committing to sustainability, the company has created an environment that not only aims to boost productivity and satisfaction but also sets the stage for future success.
The team had a very clear vision and intentionally kept what was important to them at the forefront of the design.Shanna Dorsch, Vice President, Market Development at Solutions Business Interiors
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