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Workspaces

Workspace Objectives: Enhance Productivity

 

This is the first in the nine part series about the the workspace objectives and how they shape office as a service industry.

As the workplace continues to evolve, increasingly fluid workforce is looking for shared office environments that will not only provide the office space, but increase and encourage productivity. Shared working environments designers and operators are looking for the optimal office space solution, a magic formula resulting in a workspace that meets customer needs and exceeds their expectations.

Being in “Early Majority” phase of the coworking adoption life cycle, we understood the opportunities, but also a difficult task to design ‘a destination workplace’ model that is custom tailored and made for Canada. Established companies are showing no shyness about their ambitions, and although opinions in Canada are still split on future of booming co-working model, there is no doubt that the shared collaborative office environments are no longer a gamble nor a fad. Collaborative spaces are the future of work, and using a coworking space over a standard office space is a win-win-win situation for landlords, operators, and workspace user alike.

Strategically, we stayed away from the ocatagon and the Battle of the Titans in the High-Rise Goldtropolis, and decided to prospect one of our “HiversWork” hex models with less than 15000 sq ft in size, designing the next-generation offices and flexible working environments that will be 3 to 12 thousand sq ft in size. Our goal is a model that would address markets and needs of cities such as St Catherines, Guelph, Kingston, and Collingwood, to name several of our markets of interest, and Etobicoke as our first flagship store. Result is the network of “work hives” addressing SMB just as enterprise business needs by connecting increasingly mobile workforce with the fully managed work and hospitality services throughout Ontario.

In other words, we are the first Design / Build / Manage office as a service operator in Ontario looking to scale established US coworking model within Canadian business context.

Our modern workplaces combine aesthetic layouts built with the real wood, biophilic design elements, and plenty of natural light used to create a professional ambiance that allows our members to be as productive as possible. Moreover, our storytelling and branding is used to inspire people to innovate and promote growth with design that encompasses both physical and digital world.

Building owners and property managers around the country are getting involved in the industry and seek to create beautiful and interesting spaces. We are building a formidable team needed to meet their expectations, and our first location is confirmation that we have created a concept and the place where people look forward to coming to work.

We are proud to create professional office style that will increase work productivity and a space where people feel comfortable. Consequently, our workplace experience has come to the fore with journeys mapped from entrance, to desk, to departure — everything including the social interactions, inviting layout, real wood furniture, and choice of coffee and organic tea ensuring total HiversWork experience. Abundant research shows that coworkers are more productive, have a larger business and social network, over two thirds feel more creative and collaborate working on projects, and a third reported an increase in income.

Why don’y you stop by and see what are we talking about.

Hivers Workspaces- Where work and hospitality coincide

Coworking workspaces, meeting and conference rooms, private offices, and special events in Etobicoke across the street from Sherway Gardens.

Workspaces

Waggle dance and the Hive

 

Creating a new shared workspace environment is just like foragers starting a waggle dance. It is nature of business, belief that one can do it different and better, and it triggers continuous search for a hive that will flourish. Every day we learn something new and share information about the direction and distance to patches of flowers yielding nectar and pollen.

Ideas are readily available from established collaborative working spaces, related industry literature, online resources and studies, word of mouth, and anything in between. It is often difficult to sift through all that data and find the guiding light in foggy waters.  We were lucky to come across this invaluable resource in early stages, Planning Office Spaces: A Practical Guide for Managers and Designers , which is still helping us on the quest for the ultimate workplace experience.

We could not better define workspace objective and the book offers an excellent insight into planning, designing, and managing of collaborative spaces. Ideas on how to build Hivers Workspaces were in large borrowed from this book. It also provides an excellent framework for narrative, and we will use it to reflect on first building and now managing flex office spaces.

This post is the introduction into the nine part series about the the workspace objectives and how they shape office as a service industry, namely

  • Enhance Productivity
  • Reduce Cost
  • Increase Flexibility
  • Encourage Interaction
  • Support Cultural Change
  • Stimulate Creativity
  • Attract and Retain Staff
  • Express the Brand
  • Reduce Environmental Impact

While researching available business models, we focused on what makes companies such as Industrious and Spaces different and successful. Borrowing the same bee and hex branding imagery, arguably some of the best examples in the industry, we decided to embrace their business storytelling and take it to the “next flex” level.

On the other hand, selecting wood, and using the birch plywood to design and manufacture everything from office walls, conference tables, ergonomic adjustable desks, reception to bar makes us the first office as a service company that integrated manufacturing as essential and complementary component in the shared spaces business model. It will not only help set our stores apart, but offer eco friendly and price competitive alternative for office furnishings that is made in Canada, and help any company design and furnish their workspaces as well.

This is the foundation to become a modern domestic manufacturing company that changed shared and flex office service model for better. Opendesk lends ideas as why this makes sense, and we hope to become a part of their global network as well.

From the start our plan was to look around, learn from the best and entrepreneur a company that will rival anyone in industry if not with valuation than with vision.

For example, we selected our first location on the business principle called “Follow the Siren”, now our coined term. Yes, it is Starbucks, located steps away from our shared offices, not one, but the cluster of four Starbucks stores in a very small radius, and the school of Sirens luring us with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck our hive on the rocky coast off their island. And we did it.

Our goal is to create a network of conveniently located and company operated office and special event venues around the Greater Toronto Area at first, provide professional business products and services to corporate office clients, and eventually form partnerships that will help landlords lease underutilized real estate.

Please support Toronto public libraries. They are in large part responsible for this venture. Internet can be often gated wall of knowledge, and your library is the only way to get access to some of the most current and relevant works in the industry, a walk away, and an invaluable and free tool to learn and become an entrepreneur. Below is just one library list of books we borrowed on this journey, showing some gems that helped us on the path to create this new and unique shared workspace environment.

Hivers Workspaces – Where work and hospitality coincide

We provide short and long term office, conference, and special event space rentals with all amenities and managed hospitality services in Etobicoke, across the street from Sherway Gardens.

 

 

Workspaces

Hospitality and Sports Shoes

 

There is a saying that hospitality is almost impossible to teach, and it is all about hiring the right people.

Tinker Hatfield was hired at Nike before Blake Griffin was born and started a shoe revolution in the industry where “there was no romance, no tying in with athletic personalities, no design inspiration from outside. They were just done for sports.” Initially, he was hired as Nike’s corporate architect, designing office spaces, showrooms and stores, among other things, but it soon became apparent it was a fashion movement he had in mind.

Soon after, parents had to beg their kids to change into a pair of dress shoes for weddings or other such occasions, but to no avail. Just like my cousin Mike.

Innovation Kitchen Chef sparked his game-changing shoe designs for Nike, including the iconic Air Jordan series. It is worth taking a look at this whole docuseries, but this particular episode in “Abstract: The Art of Design” offers an incredible insight on how to think about design, human relationships, and hospitality.

It all starts with passion, Prep Athlete of the Year, and unfortunate set of events that took away spolymath’s (sports + polymath 🙂 ) ability to compete, but enabled him to express his vision and change the sports world through design, innovation, and storytelling like no other person before, and probably after. No personal track and field record, last second three pointer or a touchdown could match this feat, a story about the human relationships resulting in the ultimate business story.

Passion and design are interwoven into his personal relationship with Michael Jordan, individual bigger than the institution itself, and friendship that results in new version of Air Jordans year after year with storytelling in the center of everything and faith to “just do it”.

Years passed since Jordan’s retirement, but their relationship seems unchanged. Hatfield recently gifted him a set of brand new custom-made skis for his birthday, and skiing seems to be Mike’s winter pursuit. I wonder what Innovation Kitchen ski or snowboard “Snow Jordans” would look like or

U.S. Olympic luxury winter fashion line comes to mind. Mikaela & Lindsey: Bold & Beautiful  

Marketing pitches aside, it is all about hospitality and the sports shoes in this case. We hope that we can do the same in our work hives and use this story to illustrate why. This venture is also the result of few guys meeting through basketball, sharing passionate nature, friendship, and the entrepreneurial spark.

In other words, hospitality is the key in office as a service industry and must be complemented by innovative design and storytelling elements. It is no wonder that Wework is classified under hospitality business category on Linkedin,  just as all the other shared office and workspaces operators. Moreover, ever changing co-working and growing co-living “little” brother offer many opportunities, and no doubt bring disruptive wave that will also change the hospitality industry for better.

It all starts with hiring the right people.

Ryerson, Seneca, Humber, and George Brown hospitality and tourism schools, just to name few, offer Toronto the same foundation and rational used by various tech startups in efforts to attract public and private investment needed to establish Ontario and Quebec as the future global technology hubs. Investing into people skills would be just as wise, making hospitality alongside recreation the new sources of opportunity. They will no doubt become the pillars of support for changing 21st century workforce, and used to offset disruptive forces that will change, and eventually eliminate lots of current occupations.

Toronto and Montreal could and should be AI, but also global hospitality education destinations.

We missed this year’s Global Coworking Unconference Conference, but plan on coming in 2019. Our topic will be Hospitality, education, opportunities: Canadian experiment and the ultimate work experience.

Stay tuned and come to see where @hiverswork

Hivers Workspaces – Where work and hospitality coincide

We provide short and long term office, conference, and special event space rentals with all amenities and managed hospitality services in Etobicoke, across the street from Sherway Gardens.

 

 

Workspaces

It takes a bee to get the honey out

 

“Honey comes out of the air….At early dawn the leaves of trees are found bedewed with honey…. Whether this is the perspiration of the sky or a sort of saliva of the stars, or the moisture of the air purging itself, nevertheless it brings with it the great pleasure of its heavenly nature. It is always of the best quality when it is stored in the best flowers.”

Hard to beat Pliny at depicting nature. He collected much of the knowledge of his time comprised in 37 books. His sources were personal experience, his own prior works, and extracts from other works. Hard core dude called nowadays.

We are happy to announce that we formed the partnership with the Ontario Bee Association  and became an outlet from where you can buy Ontario produced honey as well as maple and birch syrup. John from Tasty Food and Spices is helping us set up the shop and brings along years of corporate executive experience turned into honey passion. He will be an essential link and lead our honey and syrup department with years of community involvement and experience. On a serious note, he will help us spread the message and make local products available to our customers.

In return, we will become an indoor honey market for a day and so for every season in a year, giving opportunity to our local producers to mingle with our workspaces customers as well as Toronto public. Meet,  taste, and buy pure Ontario nectar. Eventually, honey, maple, and birch syrup from all over the Great North will become the central theme in our e-commerce and brand marketing efforts. We hope to help connect more Canadian consumers with local producers of some of the healthiest and purest forms of nature’s goods.

Do you know where your supermarket honey comes from?

Naturally, we will use Shopify  e-commerce platform together with their POS services to provide superior and seamless customer experience, both in our hives as well as digital world. Hopefully, we can become their shared and collaborative spaces solutions partner one day too, and help them design and build something unique in their new 254,000 square feet downtown office under construction.

For now, you will have to visit us to get some honey and maple syrup, sourced from 5 different local producers at the moment. Bonus: First 5 honey customers get free Hivers branded shirt and the coffee / tea mug.  Soon our apparel and gear as well as “Hivers Nature’s Best” line of  products will be available to Canadian public and all the lovers of good things made in Canada around the world.

So this is the story about how it takes a bee to get the honey out. That bee is John who was kind enough to come and help us on the path to create a unique Canadian workplace experience.

Now you know the story about the Why, Baltic Birch and a Bee. One about the hives is still  in writing.

Stay tuned for our first winter festival of honey coming soon. In the meantime stop by for a complementary coffee or tea and a free tour.

Hivers Workspaces – Where work and hospitality coincide

We provide short and long term office, conference, and special event space rentals with all amenities and managed hospitality services in Etobicoke, across the street from Sherway Gardens.

Meeting Spaces

Pin Knots, Mineral Streaks, and the story about beautiful…

 

It all starts in Tyumen, Baltic settlement on the Tura River. Carefully selected FSC certified birch logs are shaven into thin layers of veneer,  perfectly cross-banded and laminated with glue free of formaldehiyde and without any voids, resulting in a perfect wooden canvas waiting for an artist, fusion of nature and machinery.

Baltic Birch features the essential elements of the highest quality and most versatile plywood in the world. Material offers exceptional hardness and specific gravity, making it amongst the strongest and most dimensionally stable panels available. It’s virtually free of irregularities and manufactured to ensure that all of the plywood sheets have extreme durability, great strength, and are visually inviting.

Its aesthetic appeal and smooth, rich sheen as well as magnificent combination of pin knots, mineral streaks and grain waves were enough to convince us that Baltic birch it is.

It is what?

One of the pillars in our business model, wood and the Baltic birch as sustainable choice that we used to manufacture office walls, conference tables, ergonomic adjustable desks, reception, utility bar, coffee tables, and we will leave the best for the last. It satisfies three principles of good architecture, that is, strength, functionality, and beauty,  central themes in Hivers Workspaces design philosophy.

It is not only a romantic relationship. It is about innovation and wood in the human environment. With growing interest in restorative properties of wood in the built indoor environment, and many other studies pointing to intricate and sensual human relationship with nature, we made the Baltic birch an essential element in our start up storytelling and the market differentiator in the office as a service industry.

It is also response to the lack of any eco friendly, simply designed wooden office furnishings amongst Canadian office  furniture suppliers. Search for office walls and partitioning left us with exuberant quotes of overbuilt and poorly designed environmentally unfriendly extruded aluminium products. Moreover,  some of the main suppliers in the country are nothing more than fronts with 90 – 120 days expectations waiting for the senseless voyage across the Pacific and all the environmental pollution and waste that comes with it.

We are office as a service company that is based on designing and manufacturing our products, and wish to revisit steps that once made this country great maker of things. We want to embrace and become the future wave of Canadian economy, coming renaissance in manufacturing sector. That will moreover help us set sails on our quest to craft unique Canadian workplace experience as the only true designer / builder / manager of shared and collaborative working environments  in the industry.

Stay tuned,  our partner John is stopping by the Sherway Gardens Hive today and another great story is coming up soon.

Hivers Workspaces – Where Work and Hospitality Coincide

We provide short and long term office, conference, and special event space rentals with all amenities and managed hospitality services in Etobicoke, across the street from Sherway Gardens

 

 

 

Meeting Spaces

Story about the Baltic Birch, Bees, Hive and Why

 

Remote workers will soon become norm rather than exception and progressive companies understand that they will have to embrace remote work to retain talent and improve the bottom line. The New York Times reported that “employees who spend three to four days working off-site feel the most engaged with their teams”, which illustrates fundamental change in the nature of work and business requirements.

Traffic gridlock around the GTA and other large urban communities result in the major loss of productivity,  high cost of commuting, and stress involved before a working day even starts and right after it finishes, and it is clear as why would anyone want to stay at home and do work from there.

Nonetheless, limitations of stay at home work might not be apparent at first, but downsides are well documented and it is evident that office to home work routine is a complex transition for both business as well as workforce. This is where office as a service companies provide flexible workspaces solutions and services to both business as well as their employees, a win-win proposition with increased productivity and a happier employee.

With 27 million sq feet of office space across the US it is no secret that shared and dedicated coworking spaces operators are becoming essential partner in the business world just like a courier company or a goods supplier. So how do we fit in this whole picture, having opened our first location with less than 5000 sq ft in uncharted waters on the outskirts of Toronto?

We want to make it strictly Canadian workspace experience that is scalable across smaller communities, very much what Industrious is doing in the US. Having ten times less population made it obvious from the start that we will have to do something different since their smallest market is about the size of Ottawa.

On the other hand, big players such as Wework or Spaces have global strategy that relegate Canadian experience and occupy large square footage, with the business model that can only cater to several Canadian cities.

For example, Target and Lowes are some of examples showing lack of understanding on how the cultural context in customer experience affects the business model. Using home renovation retailers analogy, we want to be something like Home Hardware, a business that understands how to build and organize a store in Muskoka just as in Toronto, catering to fundamentally different personas and adjusting their offerings and customer experience accordingly.

Our goal is to use our first flagship store as a demonstration of what we plan on doing across the GTA first and hopefully across Canada in years to come. And from the beginning we decided to innovate and incorporate the best from office design / build and hospitality industries in order to create and deliver exceptional work experience.

This is in a nutshell Why. But what about the story about the Baltic Birch, Bees, and Hives?

Stay tuned and visit the Sherway Gardens Hive.

Hivers Workspaces – Where Work and Hospitality Coincide

We provide short and long term office, conference, and special event space rentals with all amenities and managed hospitality services in Etobicoke, across the street from Sherway Gardens.