Aiming to practise what it preaches, Cushman & Wakefield has moved into a “high-performing” national headquarters that could be a model for the rest of its Canadian offices.
“We’re leaders in providing advice to our investor and occupier clients around their space,” said Cushman & Wakefield chief executive officer for Canada Chuck Scott. “I think we have a very thoughtful program for our own space.
“We have found the balance between a layout of space that is the future of high-performing work, but also balances out the practical realities of our business.”
Consolidating with former DTZ office
Cushman & Wakefield was headquartered at 33 Yonge St. in Toronto and inherited another downtown office in the TD Canada Trust Tower at 161 Bay St. when the company merged with DTZ in September 2015. Both spaces have now been consolidated into 35,000 square feet on the 14th and 15th floors of the Oxford Properties Group-owned TD Canada Trust Tower. A 10-year lease was signed.
Cushman & Wakefield also transformed its Mississauga workplace in December, and what was once 77,000 square feet of Greater Toronto Area (GTA) office space has been reduced to a more efficient 55,000 for 190 downtown and 110 Mississauga employees.
More flexibility for employees
The head office now offers employees more flexibility in the way they choose to work, with movable walls, sit-to-stand desks, easy-to-use technology in meeting rooms, focus rooms outfitted with soft seating, and several collaboration spaces with touchscreen SMART Boards.
A 35-foot embossed Cushman & Wakefield logo spans the length of the lobby hallway that sits adjacent to a five-screen digital showcase. The office’s inter-connecting stairwell encourages more traffic flow between floors, which offer plenty of natural light.
“We went from 77 private offices to 27 private offices, and none of them are on the windows and none of them are mine,” said Scott. “I elected to sit at a work station, and I’m happy to do that.”
High performers, key wins and other achievements are celebrated on internal digital screens. Healthy snacks and coffee are available to all in the café.
Space for employees, clients and community members
It was important for the new space to work well for clients and members of the community as well as Cushman & Wakefield employees.
“It’s a space that our clients can come and use and enjoy and have meetings here, and spend two hours working here if they’re in between meetings downtown,” said Scott, who added outside groups are also invited to hold meetings and retreats in the space.
The entire project was led, managed and implemented in-house by Cushman & Wakefield, including the lease transaction, facilities management, and project and development services overseeing the design and construction. There was no down time or work hours lost during the move.
“A high-performing workplace and a sustainable environment is something that’s really important to us,” said Scott. “Our design partner at Gensler put a lot of thought into that as we were designing it, so we’re certainly exploring all of the options around different types of certifications.”
Oxford Properties Group was supportive
Scott also credits Oxford for its support and contributions.
“They were very, very involved in making sure that we had a great real estate solution in terms of giving us the flexibility to have a home that could allow us to do this,” he said. “Oxford just doesn’t just sign the lease and leave.”
Scott emphasizes the importance of consistency in its approach to high-performing offices and promised that GTA employees — who’ve provided “fantastic” feedback — won’t be the only beneficiaries.
“As either opportunities present themselves or as leases roll over, we’re absolutely committed to applying the new Cushman & Wakefield workplace program to all of our offices across the country.”
Scott said these office transformations will help Cushman & Wakefield retain and attract top talent.
“We are on a mission to have the best people, the best clients and the best results. Having space like this really helps us do that.”