It is perhaps no surprise that a global healthcare company chooses to emphasize workplace wellness in its new facility. But the extent to which GSK Canada has designed its new Mississauga office space represents new standards in hybrid workplace design, workplace wellness, and an employee-centered approach to the office environment.
“The state-of-the-art office was designed with input from employees – they were at the heart of the project and engaged every step of the way,” says a case study on the GSK Canada website.
What makes the workspace, situated roughly 30 minutes from Toronto’s city center, so special? And how can other companies, facilities managers, and property managers model their next project in a similar way, to:
- Promote sustainability
- Place environmental wellness at the forefront
- Give employees in a post-pandemic era what they want the most?
What Employees Want in a Post-Pandemic Era
Studies from the job search site FlexJobs throughout 2022 discovered that 97% of workers were seeking a fully remote or hybrid position, while 84% said remote or hybrid work would make them happier, BenefitNews.com reported.
Employee surveys from other organizations found that workers are “looking to employers to prioritize flexibility and skills development,” as well as worker well-being. Weforum.org reported. This includes giving employees freedom to determine their working hours to a degree, enjoy more vacation time, and offering programs to promote physical and mental health.
Understanding The Role A Building Plays in Company Culture
In the era of the “Great Resignation” (or “Great Re-shuffling, if you prefer), across North America, facilities managers and property developers can improve lease-ups by providing companies with the tools to build the company culture employees want.
With this in mind, GSK Canada provided state of the art technology that included interactive whiteboards, high quality video conferencing equipment, and other audio visual equipment, software, hardware, and apps to satisfy the needs of remote and in-person workers.
The building offers a variety of work environments for different tasks. Office equipment emphasizes wellness, according to the press release, with sit/stand desk arrangements and even treadmill desks. Modular and easily movable furniture can be configured for collaboration in groups of virtually any size.
Focus rooms provide comfort and privacy when needed. Likewise, spaces deemed “wellness” or “multifaith” rooms provide privacy for meditation, consultations, religious services, or breastfeeding parents.
The building also emphasizes inclusion, with braille signage, accessible corridors, and gender neutral washrooms to accommodate all employees.
How to Build a Space That Attracts Top Talent and Tenants
Whether you’re looking to build a new corporate headquarters or retrofit an existing property, you can look at the GSK headquarters as a blueprint for success. But remember, the future of commercial real estate is about personalization. What is right for GSK may not be what your tenants – or their employees – need.
GSK Canada was rated one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers by The Globe and Mail for the third year running, and also one of Canada’s Top Family-Friendly Employers and Toronto’s Top Employer. The firm has built and maintained this title and reputation by staying in tune with their workers’ needs.
“This new office opening is just another demonstration of GSK Canada’s ongoing commitments to current and prospective employees, and will serve as a great asset to continue attracting diverse, top talent to Ontario’s life sciences industry,” said Jason Field, President and CEO of Life Sciences Ontario, in a press release from GSK Canada.
Employees offered input for the new corporate headquarter design at every step of the process.
By keeping the needs of the employees in your region – and the industry you’re building for – at the heart of your building project or retrofit, you can ensure your space will attract top industry names.
Features such as accessibility, building technology, and sustainability may be standard, but not cookie-cutter. Interior construction technologies such as those offered by DIRTT Environmental provide tremendous flexibility in design, are adaptable to today’s explosive growth in life sciences facilities and applicable to the flexibility needs of all office environments.
Consider making use of outdoor spaces for wellness, living walls for improved air quality, modular interiors and furniture, for flexibility.
Borrow ideas from the buildings around you, especially those that are attracting the type of businesses you want to work with. Speak with consultants in the areas of workplace wellness, audio video technology and building automation, and accessibility/inclusion to get fresh ideas and birds-eye view of the commercial real estate industry as it relates to office space in your region right now.
What Are You Working On?
When it comes time to begin your project, find top professionals with the help of Monster Commercial to help you meet your vision for the future, and even serve as an example and an inspiration to others.