Canadian Firms Try To Lure Employees Back Into Offices With Amenities: ‘You’ll Love It’ – National

When Lightspeed Commerce Inc. employees returned to their Montreal office this year after a pandemic break, they found a space twice the size of last, with a restaurant serving free meals, a smoothie bar and a barista to prepare individual drinks.

A gymnasium and courtyard complete with foliage and a fountain are coming soon.

“We make it a unique experience and the entire office is a kind of lounge area that employees feel super comfortable in,” said JP Chauvet, managing director of the Montreal-based software company.

Amenities aren’t uncommon for tech companies, which have long offered luxe office perks for talent acquisition and retention, but they’ve been beefed up in recent months to lure employees back into the company’s workspaces for at least a few days a week and to attract potential new hires .

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This is seen as a necessity even as remote work in C-suites grows in popularity and downsizing continues across the industry.

Many companies assume that employees may not be interested in returning to the office without something to facilitate the transition – such as

Some have even gone the extra mile and greeted staff with a party and swag-like backpacks with enough room for a laptop.

Many have also highlighted these efforts and their Instagram-worthy digs online and in negotiations with potential collaborators, hoping it will make all the difference for top talent.

“All companies try to attract and retain talent, and they try to be as creative and innovative as possible,” said Michael Halinski, associate professor of organizational behavior and human resource management at Toronto Metropolitan University.

“Whether that means adjusting working arrangements or adjusting benefits or perks, companies will constantly try to do different things to reinvent themselves.”

Click here to play video:'It's Coming': Lethbridge businesses see increased foot traffic

‘It’s coming’: Lethbridge businesses are seeing increased foot traffic

‘It’s coming’: Lethbridge businesses are seeing increased foot traffic

Lightspeed’s decision to remodel its space came early in the pandemic, as Chauvet recalls other companies no longer renting out their offices or downplaying their importance.

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“Actually, we went the completely opposite way,” he said. “We said, ‘Well, let’s use this time to renovate everything while everyone’s out so that when they come back they’ll be excited.’

Most employees, who are encouraged to visit the office three days a week, are pleased with how much more space there is for meetings and even after-work gatherings, he said.

They also like the installed Ketra Lightspeed lighting, which creates a mood-enhancing ambiance depending on the season, weather, and time of day.

Chauvet credits the new office with helping the company achieve one of its best months for performance last year in March, the same month employees returned to the office, and believes it has increased hiring by around 300 employees over the next five weeks.

But many workers avoid offices.

A hired study of 2,000 tech professionals in Canada, the US and the UK found that job seekers have preferred remote-only roles over primarily remote or non-remote roles since June 2021.

As of June 2022, 93 percent of job applicants surveyed preferred remote or hybrid jobs.

“Trade offices now have to compete with many workers who, due to the time savings of commuting and the flexibility to work closer to where their families live and the ability to jog during their lunch break, compete with many workers who are happy to work from home” , said Aaron Short, the chief executive officer of B-Line, a Halifax-based workplace management and security platform, in an email.

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He insisted that remote work is hurting morale and the broader company culture. People are happier when they have flexibility about their workplace but also need face-to-face collaboration, he argued.

“Video conferencing and emails don’t always bring out the best in people, but eating together does,” he said.

Despite the push to work remotely, Natasha Koifman is keen on keeping her office.

The head of PR firm NKPR has bought a new building on Richmond Street West in Toronto, into which her firm will move next summer.

She will model the office after the Public Hotel in New York, which has an outdoor area that looks almost like a miniature Central Park, and add a rooftop terrace, lounges, and maybe a coffee shop.

“We’re currently in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but my goal is for people to want to come every day,” Koifman said.

“The goal is to create an environment that feels as comfortable for them as their home.”

But amenities aren’t the be-all and end-all for many workers. Some other perks are even more desirable.

The Hired study found that flexible working hours, paid time off, healthcare benefits, retirement plans, and performance-based bonuses are the most compelling perks a company can offer in 2022 beyond compensation.

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Company culture is also important, Koifman said.

She has long celebrated her employees’ birthdays and anniversaries because she knows it makes employees feel included and valued.

“I often think that I care about the people I work with, I care about them, and if that’s the case, how do you demonstrate that?” she said.

“This not only applies to the office space, but also to the daily work with your employees.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press Canadian Firms Try To Lure Employees Back Into Offices With Amenities: ‘You’ll Love It’ – National


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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