Build an Office Where People Do Great Work

Hootsuite's brand-new second headquarters in Vancouver is a model of an employee-friendly, productivity-boosting workplace

Written by Staff

Hootsuite has had some growing pains; in the past year, the Vancouver-based tech powerhouse has hired 470(!) new employees. But rather than cram the recruits into its already-bursting headquarters or lease out some anonymous temporary space, the company decided to not only build a second permanent office (called HQ2) but also to make that office as cool and conducive to productivity as possible. Sepi Bordian (operations manager) and Ambrosia Humphrey (vice-president of talent) share what makes Hootsuite’s new workspace so unique.

Read: Hootsuite and the Art of Continual Product Innovation

1. Flexible (and customizable) workspaces

“One thing we really wanted to do with HQ2 was stay ahead of our growth,” says Bordian. “We’re always in need of new workstations so we decided to work around multi-purpose spaces.” New staff are assigned to a sit-down or standup desk space, depending on their preference, and “they do pretty much anything they want with that space,” says Humphrey.

2. A bit of solace

The team at Hootsuite wanted other quiet spaces around the office, “because, throughout the day, you may want to step away from your desk and be on your own,” says Bordian. “Sometimes you want to stand, sometimes you want to lounge on a beanbag or meet with someone in the library or over coffee in the kitchen area. We really just want to give people as many options as possible.”

Read: Why Modern Offices Need More Privacy

3. Dogs (for companionship) and logs (for ambiance)

Hootsuite has always welcomed dogs at its offices, says Bordian. “At HQ2, we used a turf material for carpeting in high-traffic areas that’s easy on stains and good for the paws.”

(Those walls? “Reclaimed wood from barns in the Fraser Valley and as far away as Tennessee. Some even came from right here in the Mount Pleasant area,” says Bordian. “It adds character.”)

4. A bit of the “wow” factor

Hootsuite had to remove the hanging tile ceiling to get the height needed to build features like full-size cabins (and outhouses) that function as meeting rooms. “When we opened the door into our new space on the first day, it was like a Kramer moment—everyone who entered was blown away by the features and how functional the space is,” says Humphrey. “It’s really increased our productivity.”

Gallery: How Another Vancouver Firm Built an Ultra-Productive Office

This story is part of the package in the October 2014 issue of Canadian Business. Click here for more useful, business-building tips, or here to subscribe to the magazine!

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com