Could it be that the office of the future isn’t one at all? After several years of research, and offices transformed since 2013 in St-Jean (NL), Langley (BC) and Ottawa (ON), Deloitte company has decided to take up the challenge in Montreal! In July 2015, the company's 1,200 employees inaugurated their new office of over 142,000 square feett, located in the Deloitte Tower in the heart of the Quartier de l’innovation.
New Business Challenges
Tuesday 4:00 pm. Deloitte’s Montreal offices are buzzing with activity. The employees go up and down the stairs as they want. Some grab coffee in the café-style kitchens located on each floor, several have chosen to sit in small groups on benches, while others are working sitting or standing on fully adjustable desks. But one thing is certain: the employees look relaxed and happy.
Why redesign and transformits workspaces? Today's businesses face many new challenges in terms of labor requirements and employee retention. Many of them are trying new approaches to work organization and job development in order to respond to these different pressures. Generation Y, which represents the largest pool of labor today, expects to have greater flexibility at work, contrary to previous generations.
"Our goal for 2020 is to be recognized as the undisputed leader in professional services in Canada in the eyes of the marketplace, of our employees and of the community," explains Marc Perron, Managing Partner for Deloitte in Quebec. To achieve this goal, the company wanted to go further by reinventing itself from within. Deloitte spent several years investigating around the globe before creating their new offices. Since then, their entire strategy has included four essential pillars: collaboration and teamwork, productivity, innovation and agility.
Welcome to Deloitte
The real uniqueness of the place is that no one has a fixed office; not even the partners. Employees can use the 18 different kinds of offered work spaces at their convenience. You can find them in the bistro, in conference rooms, in closed conventional offices, in work areas open to daylight, sitting on couches facing outdoors, grouped on benches or walking on conveyor belts in work spaces equipped with machines, etc. Employees can walk around, change places according to their needs and tasks. As with Facebook or Google, staff can thus vary their postures.
There are also a host of rooms dedicated to the welfare of employees: a wellness center called the “Recharge center” where you’ll find, amongst others,, a training room (in which 4 free physical activities classes are offered per day), a relaxation space, and private consultations with experts of all kinds: massage therapists, nutritionists, financial planners and more ; all to forget that you are at work. Every detail is thought out to make life easier for employees. To these services are added other more traditional services, such as cleaning, nail care, psychologist, etc. Why ? By helping them "save time", they are more relaxed, less stressed, therefore happier and more productive.
The company’s commitment to the welfare of its employees is also found in the bistro which offers healthy dishes and menus, in different living spaces where lights adapt to outdoor luminosity , in ceilings fitted with sound reducers to guarantee the comfort of all.
A great success, 1 year and a half after
A year and a half later, Deloitte has succeeded in reducing the overall size of its offices by literally transforming the way its employees work and increasing the commitment level of its employee,. "The numbers show us that there are more people coming here than people who came to the office when we were at Place Ville-Marie," confirms Mr. Perron. According to several in-house surveys, "90% of those surveyed are proud to bring people here and at the level of agility. Over 80% of employees say they have a positive opinion of their new agile workspace and would not return to the old way of working. "
Young professionals who enter the office dream of working there. Potential customers are also under the spell -he offices welcome an average of 450 visitors over two days! Some admirers even rent spaces for their own private corporate events.
Mr. Perron concludes: "Being in the quartier de l’innovation is a genuinely plus for us because our offices are innovative. Being in the heart of the neighbourhood has allowed us to strike up important partnerships throughout the innovation ecosystem which has completely changed our corporate image." In fact, at first glance, if you erase the Deloitte name at the entrance of the offices, you may think you’re entering a new tech company. Likewise, by being innovative, Deloitte has succeeded in dusting off the image of the traditional professional services firm.