BOSS Headquarters is based in Oceanside, California and the BOSS staff undoubtedly agree that we have a great office in which to work. The space features a lounge and breakout areas with TVs and games that offer staff a place to break from work and relax. The wraparound balcony and rooftop terrace with ocean views and hot tubs provide great locations for informal meetings, team building activities, creative thinking or purely for chilling out.
The working office design is open plan to allow for greater communication and collaboration between individuals and teams. The whole space sums up the BOSS ‘work hard play hard’ philosophy that our staff thrive on. With a passion for our own office space, we set out to find the most amazing offices in the Canada.
10. Shopify Montreal
The warm and inviting space of Shopify’s Montreal office was designed by Shopify’s senior product lead Jonathan Lavoie-Lévesque, who is also a trained architect.
The welcoming wooden reception area features a comfy lounge area and a gigantic screen displaying company statistics in real time. The open-plan office was designed and built with complete flexibility in mind. Although desks are provided for staff, employees are encouraged to move freely and work wherever they feel most creative and comfortable. There are numerous working spaces ranging from stand-up bar-style desks to lounge chairs and beanbags. Individual and group offices are available for private or collaborative working.
Cynthia Savard Saucier, lead UX designer for Shopify explained that, “no one here really owns a desk. Whether you want to work from a conference table or on a bean bag chair, we have created an environment where you work from where you feel most comfortable.”
Clio, the rapidly-growing legal practice management platform transformed their dark and dreary office in Vancouver into a bright open space for the company’s 120 employees.
The lunch room is the central hub of the office and is utilized all day long, not just during the lunch hour. Adorning the entire length of one of the walls in the bright lunch room is a huge chalk board where employees can scribble their thoughts and ideas. The space was designed with socialization in mind: there are booths for small groups, tables for two and long bench-style tables for bigger gatherings.
There is also a soft seating area with bean bags and sofas for those who prefer to more comfortably work or mingle. One of the walls features huge lettering displaying the words “Work Hard Play Hard” which sums up the ethos at Clio. The lunch room is the place to be on a Friday when employees can enjoy the catered lunch.
Clio’s offices also feature the requisite toys that are now common in tech companies: a Zen room, yoga room, an arcade game zone, foosball table, video game lounge, and a Ping Pong room.
“Clio has always had a work hard, play hard culture, and we’ve tried to build a space that fosters both high-performance, and a fun team environment,” says Rian Gauvreau, COO and Co-Founder.
“We wanted to build an office our team could be proud of, and provided the necessary spaces and equipment to support a high-output startup environment, while also creating opportunities to nurture our culture with fun and balance.”
8. Bicom Communications
The offices of Canada-wide public relations agency, Bicom, are truly dynamic and energetic work environments situated inside an old factory in Montreal. To help define work spaces, little house- and hut-like offices are dotted throughout the village-style open areas.
Splashes of colour and texture can be seen throughout the office design, creatively breaking the bare white walls, floors, and ceiling. The house-like pods are clad in a variety of materials including fake grass, wood paneling, and even mirrors.
The erratic positioning of elements within the space works brilliantly to break traditional norms, encourage interaction and create a sense of energy.
The designer responsible for creating the incredible space, Jean de Lessard, commented “…the houses that have a flexible design were customized according to their specific function and randomly positioned to break the monotony and encourage spontaneous interaction.”
iQmetrix is a Vancouver-based retail management and customer experience software provider. The company’s open and innovative office environment was created in collaboration with Vancouver interior design firm SSDG. The office was named one of “Vancouver’s Top 5 Coolest Offices” in 2014 by Adzuna Canada and won “Gold Workplace” at the 2010 IDIBC Awards of Excellence.
The company’s collaborative spaces support team interaction, with flexible central meeting, socializing, and retail areas for staff and clients to test drive the showcased technology. The office features a modern, minimalist style combined with white backgrounds and floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize natural light.
“Because our employees consulted directly with SSDG on our office design, we actually feel the office reflects our company culture, on top of contributing to it,” said iQmetrix President and CEO Christopher Krywulak.
“Our values of speed and agility, lifestyle, innovation, character, community, and environment (SLICCE) are inherent to the form and function of our office. That said, our office space feeds back into our company culture by enabling collaboration, stimulating creativity, encouraging social interaction, and promoting sustainability”.
“Without a doubt, my favourite aspect of the space is our central common area, which is a massive open table with stools, adjacent to our reception area, coffee maker, beer tap, drink fridge, and kitchen. This is where our staff and guests mix, mingle, and get to know each other. And yes, we even do work here as well. It’s an inviting area and everyone comes together in the space on a daily basis.”
“This is an unorthodox space that speaks to the nature of startups and disruption,” said Allen Lau, CEO and cofounder of Wattpad. “You’re forced to think differently from the moment you walk into the office.”
“A mighty tree starts from a seed” was the inspiration for the Wattpad Tree, which features ‘leaves’ that reference popular Wattpad stories, and a ‘trunk’ that is a bookshelf filled with published books that started off as Wattpad stories. “A lot of our writers go from having no fans or followers to millions of reads,” Lau says. “So it’s almost like planting seeds and seeing them grow.”
Wattpad moved into the 159-year-old building—the company’s three-floor HQ—in the city’s St. Lawrence Market district in 2014. Wattpad believes people do their best work when they are comfortable. Inside, much of the colorful furniture is light or on wheels so that seating areas can be reconfigured to create custom meeting spaces. You’ll find employees working from beanbags, hammocks, and even on the rooftop patio. Employees use any surface to scrawl ideas and mock up designs. The majority of the walls are covered in IdeaPaint, making them erasable whiteboards.
Video is transforming education, and MediaCore helps hundreds of educational institutions around the world embrace it. Since 2012 MediaCore’s headquarters have been located in a 1920s brick building in historic Bastion Square, just steps from Victoria’s inner harbour.
The open-plan office boasts views of the ocean from almost every window. The office was designed by Kyla Bidgood from the ground up to give the MediaCore team somewhere they can truly call home with features like an abundance of natural light, bright, funky light fixtures, a contemporary kitchen, and meeting rooms with whiteboard walls. The breakout area features a prominent magnetic wall and a large sectional couch that doubles as a collaborative environment for meetings and calls.
“Our team is a very social, collaborative group, and the design and functionality of our office really helps promote that culture,” Christina Seargeant, MediaCore’s director of people operations.
Because we have a very open office environment, it is very easy to connect with other members of the team and get a pulse on what people are working on. Our team all has noise-cancelling headphones so even among the hustle, you can still be in the zone.”
4. The Metrick System
Founded in 1995 by Laurence Metrick, this Toronto-based advertising agency offers integrated content and production with deep roots in branding, response, retail, and experiential marketing. It will come as no surprise then that the company has created such a cool and unique space to develop effective and integrated solutions for their clients.
The most dramatic feature of the office is the three renovated vintage Airstream trailers that cleverly add a retro-modern style to the working space. President Laurence Metrick talked to Canadian BOSS Magazine about what influenced the design of the space.
“Working with an open-concept desk environment, the offices are reminiscent of backlot Hollywood with three areas that require either visual or sound separation. The President’s office, recording studio, and the café are all housed in the vintage Airstream trailers. Each trailer has been refitted to ensure maximum use of the space.”
When asked about how the office space contributes to company culture, Metrick said it’s important to “[t]reat your staff as guests.
The kitchen café and lunch table are in the centre of the space, where we entertain. Everyone dines together and if we do not have clients with us, those lunches are a little louder, the discussion more opinionated.”
3. Corus Entertainment
It has long been believed that office environments affect employee productivity. Corus Entertainment has taken this notion seriously when designing their enormous 500,000 square foot office.
As one of Canada’s leading entertainment and media companies, Corus has filled its office space with fun and inspiring features in an effort to foster collaboration and encourage innovation. The building houses staff from the company’s various divisions, previously located in separate buildings, together under one incredible roof.
The indoor, three-story slide has to be the pinnacle feature of the space, allowing staff members to move quickly from floor to floor in what must be one of the most fun transportation methods.
The vast open area is dotted with multiple social spaces and lounges filled with colorful furniture, games tables, and TV screens.
The building has Wi-Fi capabilities everywhere, allowing staff to work freely wherever they choose. Who wouldn’t want to draft that long and complicated production brief from the rooftop patio, or maybe reply to a plethora of emails from the indoor sundeck overlooking the lake?
Social media management giant Hootsuite has not one but two amazing offices located in Vancouver, BC. Their second headquarters—HQ2—opened mid-2014 and is located within a few blocks of the company’s first office in the city.
During a media tour of the office, CEO Ryan Holmes said
“The company’s goal is to keep its employees as close together as possible to facilitate collaboration. While it would be ideal to have just one Vancouver office, having two within three blocks of each other is the next best thing.”
The incredible space, which has been designed to mimic Whistler Village, is open-concept, encouraging collaboration and teamwork. Dotted throughout the office are power-ready, stand-up bar-style desks to encourage movement, which is easy with employees’ company-provided laptops.
The sunken lounge is the perfect space for staff to relax or collaborate and features a glowing fire, soft faux fur beanbag chairs, wooden “antler” chandeliers, plaid benches, and antique, locally-sourced ski decor.
“Our culture is and has always been one that fosters a sense of collaboration and teamwork. Our employees are always bouncing ideas off one another, and our space encourages this in just about every corner. People can hop into an impromptu meeting in the kitchen, on the stage, by a whiteboard, or even one of our office tents,” says Ambrosia Vertesi, vice president of talent at Hootsuite.
1. Google Canada
Google Canada was one of Google’s first international offices and today is home to over 600 Googlers across four offices in Toronto, Montreal, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Ottawa.
As you probably already know about Google’s offices, there are just too many incredible features to list them all. Some of the most unique and extraordinary aspects of the office include a patio with a five-hole mini-putt course; healthy and delicious meals prepared by Google’s on-site chef team; a wellness room that doubles as a nap room for jet-lagged Googlers; a massage and a meditation room; arcade games, ping pong, foosball and billiards; and comfortable, fun lounge spaces like the DJ Station, library, and a secret hidden room.
When asked what influenced the design of the office space, Sam Sebastian, managing director of Google Canada, commented
“We wanted our office to represent our team, so we took a bottoms-up collaborative approach to the design. Googlers contributed ideas on what they wanted in the office and everyone voted for the best ideas, which ultimately were built. This office is uniquely Canadian. You can find maple leaf motifs in the wallpaper and reclaimed wood on the walls. Our conference rooms are named after Canadian bands, singers, and landmarks.”