Number TEN Architectural Group's blog provides the latest news from the leading Canadian architect firm.

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By Greg Hasiuk, Number TEN Partner and Practice Leader

As a business person, it's sometimes easy to forget what a huge influence your work environment has on the productivity, morale and overall well-being of your staff and clients alike.

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Image: Number TEN renovated office

This past year, Number TEN was at a cross-roads. Having been in our current location for over 30 years, our lease was up and we realized that it was a great opportunity to re-focus and re-energize the firm with a new work environment that responds to the changing nature of work, home life, and well-being in the 21st Century. We explored other locations but ultimately decided to stay in Winnipeg's historic east Exchange District, centrally located for cycling commutes and within walking distance of wonderful eating and shopping amenities and river-walk parkways. We love our location.

To start, we surveyed our employees and conducted a Staff Engagement Workshop in which we asked them to share photographs of their 'happy place' and solicited and shared everyone's 'hopes and fears' for the project. We discussed how we want to work with each other, with our clients, and on our project teams.

The results pointed towards several key priorities including: more collaboration space, more focus space, more small closed meeting rooms, and upgraded flexible workstations, furniture & lighting.

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 what we heard

As a result, our new office design strives to encourage collaboration and teamwork, with contemporary design features including state-of-the-art technology, extensive breakout rooms and bright and cheerful meeting spaces. The 'heart' of our new workplace is the centrally located Cafe, which is open to our new entry lobby to be enjoyed by staff and clients alike.

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Our new office design features 10 different meeting rooms of various configurations and sizes to host meetings of all types (it had to be 10!). Each meeting room features state-of-the-art A/V 'plug & play' technology, whiteboards for brainstorming, and plentiful natural light and views. An innovative touch-screen room booking system makes it easier to access rooms while reducing meeting room congestion.

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The firm's partners gave up their personal offices in order to free up space for more meeting and focused work space (glad we did). Our design and production staff are all co-located utilizing 'bench style' workstations and high-top layout tables that allow for easier ad hoc collaboration and a more efficient use of space.

To promote employee health and wellness, Number TEN has developed a comprehensive wellness program to help employees live their best life. Our wellness program includes our TENstrong Wellness Committee, tips and seminars from wellness-based organizations, strategies to deal with workplace stress, and fitness programs such as our weekly Yoga class. Our new Winnipeg office has also been designed to Fitwel® building certification standards. Fitwel® certification focuses on supporting healthier workplace environments that improve occupant health and productivity.

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So far, we are hearing and seeing positive results. Our staff are re-invigorated and engaged. Our clients are enjoying the open, creative and collaborative vibe. Our state-of-the-art technology and flexible layout is helping us better convey our ideas to each other, our clients and project teams. We will be sharing more images and results at www.numberten.com.

Number TEN Blog

Number TEN Inspired! captures the knowledge, passion and ideas of our award winning architects, interior designers and supporting staff, as they navigate through the complexities of the modern design landscape. We are creative problem solvers, advocates for better ways of doing things, and observers of all that is interesting and noteworthy in our field. This blog is our effort to share our knowledge and ideas in a way that resonates with everyone. Whether you work in the industry as an architect, interior designer, building manager, property developer, or are just someone with an interest in creativity and new ways of doing things, this blog has something for you.