“Human engagement fosters culture. An inspiring ‘place’ unites people and teams which is the fuel that accelerates innovation. Organizations achieve this by creating a safe and compelling place to work.” – Steve Cox, CEO

Studies have shown that employees are eager to get back to work. We feel less productive at home, with new distractions presenting themselves daily. We also feel more isolated, with connections to colleagues decreasing as we attend yet another virtual meeting. We all want to get back to the things we enjoyed about the office: collaborating with co-workers and engaging with a shared sense of purpose with our organization.

But we don’t want to come back to the same old office. We want to return to spaces that are both safe and compelling. We want individual spaces that we can focus and feel safe in, but we also want collaboration spaces that are flexible and adaptable to the changing nature of work.

At Heritage, we knew we wanted our employees to come back to something better. Our number one goal for our new workplace was to ensure the office was safe for our employees, and our clients and visitors. Our workplace redesign created a safer environment for our employees, including a reduction in density, changes in geometry (angles and orientation) of furnishings and an increase in physical division, balancing individual and team needs.


overall key changes

People’s expectations about their work experience changed during the pandemic. Our number one goal for our new workplace was to ensure the office was safe for our employees, and our clients and visitors. We wanted to create safe spaces for employees to work, while also encouraging the collaboration and innovation we have come to expect from the workplace, through reorientation, separation and division.

Overall Key Changes:

  • Reoriented all desks facing walkways to allow occupants to see visitors arriving ensuring they can keep their distance and still have a conversation.
  • De-densification of desks to ensure that social distancing could be maintained while walking past .
  • Addition of panel stackers to provide privacy and ensure all occupants feel their desk is a safe space to occupy.
  • Shared meeting areas were either reconfigured as single meeting areas, or revised to offer less total occupancy – we removed furniture and used signage to encourage adherence to the new meeting room protocols. Sanitation stations were also added throughout the office, especially in shared spaces and high traffic areas.

Click through the below tabs to view the departmental planning changes we incorporated for our workplace.

Before And After

Move Management & Marketing Changes
Sales Changes
Planning Changes
Admin Changes
Video: Time Lapse


From Fixed To Fluid: Design for Greater Flexibility and Mobility

New unassigned workstation, featuring Flex Height Adjustable Desks and Flex Screens that are lightweight and easy to move, attach and reattach magnetically.

Design planning in the past often relied on a more formulaic approach, with a mindset toward permanent architecture and office settings. The new realities of how people and organizations need to become more agile requires designers to plan spaces that will regularly morph and change as needed.

More than ever before, employees want choice and control over where and how they work. We addressed these needs by creating and enhancing spaces that are easy to re-orient and re-configure as needed.

That’s why we used Steelcase Flex to redesign part of our workstations and collaboration areas. Steelcase Flex creates dynamic team neighborhoods that are designed for agility and spontaneity. It empowers project teams to reconfigure their space on demand, making it easy to shift from a brainstorm to a workshop, or from a daily stand-up to a sprint review. Meeting spaces are easy to drop in and rearrange depending on the work being done, providing access to collaboration tools and encouraging innovation


Kelowna Workplace Redesign

Floor Plans - Before And After
Admin & Reception Changes
Workstation Changes

What's Next?

Though none of us know what is next for the future of work, remaining adaptable and flexible is key. The workplace can intentionally foster meaningful interactions and signal that change and adaptation are part of the culture and something to be embraced.

At Heritage, our next steps include continuing to monitor employee engagement, and adapting our space to meet the needs of our team while, maintaining a safe and compelling workplace.

One of our top priorities is creating more individual focus spaces. We know virtual calls and meetings are not going away, so we need to provide spaces for individuals to take calls and attend meetings without disrupting co-workers. We are in process of dividing one of our multi-occupancy meeting rooms into two single occupancy spaces, to accommodate the need for more individual spaces, for phone and video calls, and for focus work. Thanks to our moveable architectural solutions, this will be a relatively easy change to execute.

While living through a crisis has not been easy on anyone, it has caused people and organizations to think about our shared humanity and what we want to achieve together. We can use this moment as a catalyst for reinventing an office that is not just a container for work, but a place that creates a community where people can feel a renewed sense of safety, belonging, resilience and purpose.

Engage with us to determine how to reinvent your workplace and return to a better work environment.

Contact Us Today!