The facilities team at HootSuite decided to rip out 500 desks in its Vancouver headquarters and replace them with a combination of sit-stand workstations, meeting pods, bikes and treadmill desks.
People questioned whether the company’s expensive gamble on hybrid work would pay off.
“Maybe it’s going to work well and maybe it isn’t, but I think we need to try it and see how it goes,” says Carol Waldman, Hootsuite’s director of global facilities.
Workplace design has come a long way, and fortunately, cubicles might be on the way out.
Amid the challenges that long-term remote working brought, HootSuite used the opportunity to rethink how it used its office space, as well as ask its employees how they could continue to gain value from the office once it reopened.
Now, there’s a new wellness room (complete with velvet curtains that can be used by nursing mothers or employees who simply need a break from the daily grind), and for workers who wish to exercise their brains and bodies at the same time, they can do so using one of HootSuite’s new bike and treadmill desks.
Most recently, the company announced its plan to revamp to its London headquarters, which now features collaborative and relaxed soft-seating areas, 16 sit-stand desks, two under-desk treadmills and two under-desk bikes, a dedicated wellness room, greenery across the whole space, art and whiteboards in most meeting rooms, a dedicated “focus zone” complete with an acoustic screen, and day-use lockers.
As companies try to figure out what hybrid work means in the long term, the coming months and years will be a period of exploring what employees really want to gain from coming into the office, and then adjusting the environment accordingly.