Depression. Anxiety. Poor sleep habits. Low self-esteem. What do all these things have in common? Each can be a symptom of poor mental health directly related to your work environment. First, rewind for a second to the golden age of baby boomers in the workplace, where tiny cubicles and fluorescent lighting were the sign of a modern day office. Separation from coworkers, quiet buildings and minimal natural lighting was very often seen as standard work space. Flash ahead to 2019, and studies have shown that secluded, silent offices flooded with an overhead white glow can actually lead to less productivity among workers, and a diminished state of mental health over an extended period of time. As we roll into the future, bringing in new work environment concepts, the major features of co-working spaces are being proven to help reduce things such as anxiety, depression, fatigue and even promote productivity, just to name a few. How, you ask?
Segregation VS Networking
The original concept of the cubicle was designed to give workers a sense of their own office, without having to actually contract dozens of tiny offices across the floor. The cubicle gave privacy, while also cutting off communication from other workers while on the clock. However, more recent studies have shown that workplace integration and shared idea spaces actually creates better results. Open spaces, which allow for casual chit-chat, networking of projects, ideas and contacts showed results of workers being more productive, less fatigued and having less anxiety about meeting deadlines and completing tasks1. The co-working open concept has also shown to help businesses meet goals faster and more efficiently than those separating employees into private, individual spaces. Not to mention, employee retention within co-working spaces skyrocketed above those using separation in a 2018 study2. Based on the idea that social interaction can boost your mood and lower anxiety and work-related depression, co-working spaces are using this idea to create a more well-balanced work environment, to ensure maximum productivity, while still putting the mental health of workers at the forefront of priorities.
Socialization & Collaborations
Coming into the new millennium, when someone used the term “collaboration” it was often in reference to two major music artists creating a track together. But, in 2019, the idea of a “collab” often reaches the everyday workplace, making shared spaces a vital part of idea creation and workload contribution. Much like removing segregation of employees, the concept of shared spaces often snowballs into ideas, discussions and contributions from other employees and even other businesses. This type of socialization has been shown to reduce social anxieties, mind blocks, and even create some of the biggest product ideas of the last year3. In fact, even major companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon continue to take the traditional idea of group brainstorming and modify it into open work and discussion spaces, allowing employees and fellow businesses to fuel and feed off each other’s ideas.
Working From Home, At Work
We’ve all had the Sunday Scaries. That overwhelming gloomy anxiety at about 7pm on a Sunday night, knowing you have to return to work in the morning and start the week all over again. But what if your office felt more like home? More like a social gathering with laughter, conversation, productivity and flow of positive accomplishments, topped off with pingpong and Artisan lattes. Welcome to the world of co-working spaces. Shared work spaces are taking the data derived from workplace studies, and creating environments that give a more home-like feel to employees. This idea of modern styles, comfortable furniture, extra curriculars such as ping pong or rooftop patios, showed in several 2018 studies to reduce the Sunday night stress of employees4. Gone are the days of flicking fluorescents and grey cubicles. Today’s co-working spaces offer bright, natural lighting, cityscape views, topnotch boardrooms, comfy armchairs and even touch screen coffee makers. These types of small changes are throwing out the idea of office space, and creating a more positive, home-like feel for employees which is starting work weeks on a positive note, and continuing that upbeat feel through to Friday afternoon. In fact, most businesses that switched to co-working spaces, found their employees to be happier, more relaxed, and even working longer hours on their own volition.
As the world and the workplace take more and more notice of the effects of mental health, many businesses are turning to simple solutions with immediate results. Co-working spaces across the country are showing such a massive spike in employee health, happiness and productivity, as they continue to grow and expand to make every office a place where “going to work” doesn’t feel like a punishment. Thinking about making a change for your business? Take a look at all the unique co-working offices Spacie has to offer in Toronto and other major cities!
1. Amador, Cecilia. “Promoting Mental Health In The Workplace.” Allwork.space.
In a world where nearly an entire generation is separated from excessive face-to-face interaction due to the limitless abilities of technology, one area is rebranding and reinventing the idea of mixing social and professional qualities. That being, co-working spaces. These new-age shared workspaces are popping up across major cities and revolutionizing the way small businesses, freelancers, start-ups and entrepreneurs create their office environments.
One of the most commonly heard of co-working environments across Canada is WeWork. Offering an open concept office space for up to 25 people, per business, at an affordable price tag, co-working spaces help to cut costs, boost productivity and give new business a professional environment, already built and ready to move in to.
While co-working spaces are open to all types of businesses and walks of life, there does seem to be some common elements across the board. The trendy style, the groovy furniture, and of course, the top 5 people you will inevitably meet at nearly any co-working space.
The Healthy Hippie
The great thing about shared work spaces is that you get a very social environment, especially when it comes to the kitchen and lunchtime, which is where you’ll meet The Healthy Hippie. This particular workspace dweller will almost always be inconveniently prepping their elaborately green lunch, while simultaneously be telling the people in line for the toaster the importance of hemp hearts and how disappointed they were with the organic chives at the farmer’s market this past weekend. Don’t be fooled, The Healthy Hippie doesn’t just drone on about their superfoods and antioxidant-filled bowl of what appears to be grass, they are inconspicuously judging your hot pocket in the communal microwave. Snacker beware, The Hippie’s eyes are everywhere.
The Shockingly Young Entrepreneur
Co-working environments are almost perfectly designed for a young, fresh entrepreneur. Offering them a professional space, without the cost. Thus, in every WeWork across the country you are bound to find the trendy, yet stressed out, Shockingly Young Entrepreneur. They can easily be spotted by their casual attire and expensive accessories, whether it be a Gucci wallet or brand new, just released iPhone, The Shockingly Young Entrepreneur keeps very much to themselves. Constantly offering mystery as to how they made it happen for themselves, but you will rarely see the young entrepreneur standing around socializing. Friday afternoon ping-pong? Not a chance for the token Shockingly Young Entrepreneur.
Not unlike going to a high school library or cafeteria, there is constantly one person who drifts from group to group, offering no major loyalty or productivity to any group in particular. The Floater is always very social, seemingly friends with people from all corners and work areas, chatting and offering lively small talk about local events, restaurants, Netflix specials, you name it. The true mystery behind The Floater is that while they offer a personable distraction when that Venti Double Shot has your mouth running a mile a minute, you never really see them accomplish anything nor even truly learn what they do for a living. But you have to admit, they’ve got the entire recap on the last season of Games of Thrones when you need a refresh.
The Random Dog
Always. There is always a dog. In nearly every office in major cities, people are bringing their dogs. I mean, who wouldn’t want to break up their workday with some puppy petting and snapping some solid IG content of a golden retriever sitting at a computer? The owner of The Random Dog is usually somewhere in the office, but nobody is ever quite sure who the pet-parent of the office dog is, as everyone seems to jump in and care for the pooch at every chance they get. You will notice though, The Random Dog almost always has an adorably ironic name, and is usually the most socially well-behaved being in the entire building. Just sayin’.
The cool kids. The mean girls. The group that deep, down wishes they had the office to themselves. There is always one, and usually a small one, group of workers who live in a bubble of ignorance to those around them. They look like the studious adults you’d find in the U of T library, and they are never caught aimlessly cruising websites not related to their work. Hats off to the professional mindset, and don’t take it personal. Let them work, watch them from a safe distance, and if you find a great sale suddenly happening at Zara, tell the floater instead.
As the working world continues to evolve and expand, the idea of open concept and co-working environments is becoming more and more of a hot topic. Providing equal opportunity to small businesses to have access to professional work spaces, board rooms, interviews areas and more, there is no limitation as to where to the world of co-working will go. See for yourself by checking out the wide range of shared working environments in Toronto which Spacie has to offer, perfect for businesses of any size.
Merging European technologies with a West Coast appearance, The Exchange creates a distinct downtown working environment. The design of The Exchange is defined by the Pinstripe Principle. The pinstripes are aluminum louvres that begin at the ground level of the new building and stretch upwards above the original Edwardian building; thus producing a smooth integration between the two structures. The building is Vancouver’s first LEED Platinum heritage conversion – a collaboration between Iredale Group Architecture and Harry Gugger Studio. The best of the old structure is conserved by the new design, while conveying standards of sustainability, efficiency and comfort into the 21st century.
TELUS Garden is a 22-storey, 450,000 square foot office tower located at the northeast corner of West Georgia and Seymour streets. It is an expansion of the telecommunications giant’s headquarters office space on the city block. 1,000 TELUS employees work in the new space as well as several major, high-profile tenants including Amazon Canada, Accenture, Capstone Mining, and law firm Bull Houser & Tupper. Proponents have placed the building’s environmental footprint as a major priority. In fact, a number of TELUS Garden’s green design features have earned them the title of being Vancouver’s first LEED Platinum certified office tower and the distinction of submitting the highest LEED score card ever to the Canada Green Building Council.
Bentall 5 is an AAA office building located in the heart of downtown Vancouver’s business district, on the northeast corner of Burrard Street and Dunsmuir Street, one of the city’s most renowned intersections. It sits directly opposite to the Burrard SkyTrain Station and the 1.5 million square foot Bentall Centre complex. The structure encompasses a modern appearance, efficient design, first-class amenities and a wide range of services. A new technological standard has been set for downtown Vancouver due to an emphasis on mechanical, electrical, communication, life safety and security systems.
Shaw Tower is located on Vancouver’s most prominent waterfront location and is Vancouver’s only waterfront office building. It is among the tallest buildings in the city, standing at 489 feet and comprising of 24 stories of luxury condominiums with a unique live/work zoning designation, on top of a 16-storey office building. The structure is situated on Coal Harbour and adjacent to Harbour Green Park, the Vancouver Convention Centre and extension of Vancouver’s famous Seawall. Shaw Tower houses four of Western Canada’s leading companies: Shaw, Ledcor Construction (Shaw Tower’s contractor), Pattison Group, and Westbank office. The unique offices contain access to large decks overlooking Coal Harbour. A day care with an outdoor playground is located on the 5th floor. Shaw Tower is considered one of the new premiere office building in Vancouver.
MNP Tower was designed and developed as a vision statement for Vancouver. In order to create its architecturally stunning and multi-award winning design, the structure had to endure a thoughtful and rigorous process. The building offers extensive views of the North Shore Mountains that visually expand indoor space, has floorplates designed to promote circulation and collaboration, and surpasses environmental considerations.
745 Thurlow is a world class building that has plenty of modern day amenities that help attract and retain top talent in today’s competitive environment. The building has two magnificent green roof spaces invluding a 3rd floor terrace spreading around the west, south and east sides of the building. There is also a roof top tenant amenity area accessible to all tenants in the building, including an outdoor patio with seating, lounge and entertainment areas and a casual meeting area with a gas fire pit and barbeque. The building is equipped with a common area fitness facility, accessible to all tenants within the building.
Located at 250 Howe Street, PWC Place is Waterfront Properties newest and most impressive office tower. This AAA Class building features a marvelous grand lobby, which reflects the highest standards in design and finishing that are characterized throughout the building. The building is named after PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of North America’s largest and prestigious accounting services firms, and is home to numerous leading companies.
Park Place is a 35-storey, Class AAA office tower located in Vancouver’s business district. The property’s one-acre park has frontage on three main streets. It is adjacent to Burrard Skytrain Station and walking distance from the Convention Centre and waterfront. A retail mall, meeting facilities, and a fitness centre are included in its amenities. Dedicated to environmental sustainability, this building has achieved BOMA BEST Level 3 and LEED® Gold EB:O&M certification. While the tower only uses 35% of the site, it stands at 698,000 ft², making it the largest office building in British Columbia. The remainder of the site is dedicated to open green space, which include water features and a small amphitheatre. The building’s facade comprises of pink granite with flush-mounted copper-glazed windows that match the granite’s appearance.
Developed by Allied Properties REIT, the Queen Richmond Centre West (QRC-West) offers an excellent example of High-performance Workplace and adaptive repurpose through its incorporation of two existing heritage buildings into the establishment of a new 17-storey office building. The complex faces both Richmond and Peter Streets in Toronto’s Entertainment District due to its arrangement around an L-shaped atrium. This 302,000 square foot development adds a highly sustainable, new innovative office component which begins at the ninth floor. In addition, this state-of-the-art building features a retail component at grade and provides roof terrace access. The Mega Delta Frame structure is a unique structural solution that implemented the preservation and reuse of the industrial historic buildings on this site. Tech companies will be sure to appreciate this stunning custom-designed development and advanced innovative work space.
Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the MaRS Centre is a vivacious area that has become the irrefutable hub of Toronto’s Discovery District. This urban location has direct access to Toronto’s subway line and is only a few short stops from the GO Transit system. 101 College is conveniently located and is easily accessible from all parts of the GTA. It is attached to the adjacent MaRS Heritage Building and reaches through an atrium and concourse-level food court. This office building is set to satisfy its tenants with its warm and lavish lobby, protective security, and pass card access to its elevators. Tech companies can benefit from its convenient downtown location with accessible transportation and close proximity to the vibrant city of Toronto.
The Heritage Building
The Heritage Building’s 4-storey brick structure houses tenant spaces that are occupied by professional services, industry associations, pharmaceutical companies and offices of Canadian universities and the Province of Ontario. The MaRS Centre has been honoured with the Heritage Toronto Award of Excellence for Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship. The building was established in 1911.
The MaRS atrium is a glass-roofed building that offers public access through its walkway to Heritage Building tenants and retail vendors, and also access to the South and Medical Discovery Towers. The Atrium’s lowest level features a subdivided conference area that can host both public and private events. Events that span across Toronto’s arts, culture and urban community are sure to connect tenants to this exciting city. Its lower level also includes a media centre, video conferencing rooms and a public food court.
The South Tower
The South Tower is an 8-storey property that accommodates incubator programs and shared laboratory and research facilities. The 200,000 square foot building houses advanced mechanical and electrical systems, floors with enhanced load bearing capabilities and 15-foot slab-to-slab clearances.
The MaRS Incubator occupies the second and third floors of the South Tower, directly above the MaRS corporate offices. It is a dedicated area that comprises of offices and laboratories for about two dozen life science and technology companies.
The Balfour Building is a historical tower landmark and represents one of Toronto’s finest examples of Art Deco style in the 1930s. This 12-storey structure is a premier location with its dazzling interiors, marvelous rooftop terrace, impeccable hardwood flooring, and forced air heating and centrally controlled air conditioning. Employees of the tech sector would enjoy an office building at this location with its stylish design, accessible transportation and attractive amenities. The Balfour Building is located at the Northeast corner of Spadina Avenue and Adelaide Street, and is situated near the Financial and Entertainment districts, Gardiner Expressway, and the LRT. The City of Toronto Heritage Property Inventory listed the Balfour Building as a Toronto Heritage Property in 2011.
The Toronto Carpet Factory is a remarkable historic building from the past. It has lasted throughout the years due to its fine craftsmanship and materials used to design this structure of lasting quality. Its integrity is preserved through its new state-of-the-art facilities that are meant to inspire new ideas. Tech companies will be sure to enjoy this unique work space as it can stimulate creativity and inspiration in their workers. The building is a constant reminder that they are part of a proud and inclusive tradition of creating. With an assortment of buildings taking up a full city block on the western edge of Liberty Village, this long-standing repurposed factory is Toronto’s epicenter of creative output. This nostalgic property features tall windows, soaring ceilings and big open spaces.
At the heart of Liberty Village sits 80 Atlantic. Inspiration can easily be found in this magnificent building that was crafted with materials inspired by the past. This property features thoughtful details, collaborative spaces, high-design work environments, and innovative technologies that would be ideal for talented individuals working in the tech sector. As Toronto’s first new timber-frame commercial building to be built in a generation, 80 Atlantic integrates natural and high performance materials that set a new standard of development. Between 60 & 80, the courtyard attracts visitors into the site, which serves as a social space with public access, and is the spot of a signature patio area for Big Rock Brewery’s new concept restaurant and bar.
The Fashion Building is a renowned landmark of design and elegance and is located on the northwest corner of Camden and Spadina. It is conveniently located near the Financial and Entertainment Districts with the LRT right at the doorstep, and is just seconds away from the Gardiner Expressway. Not only does its convenient location make for the perfect work environment for busy individuals in the tech sector, the building is also spacious and visually-striking. This 8-storey heritage building features Neo-Gothic detailing, sun-filled space and a beautiful marbled lobby. Built between the years 1925 and 1927, it is an impressive warehouse-loft building with rental spaces that remain sought-after locations for today’s businesses. All suites in the building feature polished wood floors, 12ft ceilings and large operable windows. It contains barrier free access, a modernized elevator system, high speed data connectivity and energy efficient building systems.
The Reading Building integrates the convenience of modern contemporary design with the beauty of a past era. The 7-storey structure at 116 Spadina Avenue is located on the northwest corner of Spadina Avenue and Camden Street. Constructed in 1925, this astounding building was originally built as a warehouse loft. This solid concrete structure with its stunning red-brick exterior continues to attract a mix of corporate and creative tenants to its exquisitely restored brick and beam suites. Employees of the tech sector will be sure to appreciate its spacious interior and comfortable open work environment.
The Tower Building is a magnificent Art Deco-style landmark located on the northwest corner of Adelaide and Spadina Avenue. An eye-catching copper covered pyramidal tower rises two storeys above its 10-storey main structure. Constructed in 1929, the loft structure was originally designed as a commercial warehouse and has endured a major renovation to its mechanical systems while conserving the integrity of its original design. It features marvelous high ceilings, maple floors, elegant concrete columns and large operable windows. Tech company employees can step into this spacious accommodating office building and feel empowered about their work space. Tenants of this property can also enjoy modern amenities that include an energy efficient heat pump HVAC system, thermal glass, entirely refurbished passenger elevators and high speed internet connectivity.
The Commodore Building is a 10-storey loft building topped by a 2-storey tower that houses a mechanical room. Constructed in 1929, it was built as a commercial warehouse. This remarkable property features spectacular high ceilings, maple floors, sophisticated concrete columns and large operable windows. Tech company employees will be sure to value a wide spacious work environment where they can craft and exchange ideas comfortably and openly. Tenants can also enjoy modern amenities which include air conditioning, thermal glass, entirely refurbished passenger elevators and high speed internet connectivity. Currently, the building houses offices in the architectural, design, advertising, and internet sectors.
720 King Street West is a 350,000 square foot commercial office building situated in downtown Toronto at the corner of King Street West and Bathurst Street in King West Village. Constructed around 1974, the building underwent a major renovation between 1998 and 2004, which changed its original use of light industrial to a commercial class ‘A’ office occupancy. The property has undergone many interior renovations to accommodate tenant requirements. The 10-storey commercial office building borders the property lines along the south, west and east sides. A small surface parking lot of about 18,800 square feet extends to the property line on the north side. Even though over 90% of the building is used for office space, there is a mix of restaurant and personal service retail units on the ground floor for tenants to enjoy. This convenient downtown office location is suitable for tech companies to set foot in, while providing their employees with comfortable amenities.