As a driven and creative young professional, it is almost a given that you have seen the ins and outs of many offices during the introductory years of your thriving career. Your office serves as a home court; however, what does it say about you? There is no denying that your office can either become an occupational sanctuary or a total urban dungeon.
Ever since the rise of person-centric corporate headquarters (think Google), organizations have spent more time and money on making their offices equally efficient and drool-worthy. During the last couple years, it has been noted that young professionals are more attracted to working with a company that operates in a well-designed space.
That being said, welcome to Office Spaces! The workplaces featured here will not only inspire you professionally, but also provide you insight into what a well-designed base can do for you and your team, and even help you determine the next job you apply for.
Sid Lee Toronto
In 2011, this groundbreaking advertising agency was ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the top five performing in the world. Based out of Montreal, their portfolio contains bragging rights to outstanding creative work for Adidas, Red Bull, and Dell. Sid Lee thrives off of the creativity of their employees, whom they call Artisans. Their Toronto office located in the hip Distillery District is nothing short of reflective upon this.
Our team had a chance to catch up with Vito Piazza, Managing Director and Partner, to give us some insight on the functionality and features of this unique space. Here’s what we learned and saw:
Located in a newly renovated building at the heart of Toronto’s Distillery District, Sid Lee’s office brings together the old and the new: a space filled with minimalist furniture and modern technology within a historical structure. When searching for the perfect place to set up shop, Vito and his team envisioned somewhere that could allow the creativity of his staff to become the office’s design. The rawness of the exposed wood beams, concrete walls, and existing distillery equipment provided the perfect skeleton to allow the agency’s spirit to reign supreme. You can experience Sid Lee’s spirit by simply walking into the office: From it’s woody smell, to the sound of hip music, and the punchy graphics glowing from each computer screen.
To further allow each Artisan’s uniqueness to become central to the Sid Lee identity, there are opportunities for personalization anywhere. Each way you turn, the space is completely different, whether it is due to personal photographs pinned onto the wood beams, whimsical chalkboard doodles, “The Quote Lee” (random, humorous daily quotes from the staff), or bicycles propped against any wall. Not only does this allow each employee to feel at home, but really encourages their personal, artistic touch on each project. The success of each Sid Lee creation owes itself to those who create them, born and bred from this unique office space. The office also provides a full kitchen, ping-pong table, and an opportunity for each employee to play his or her own iPod on the surround speaker system.
Sid Lee Toronto consists of two different levels, formally separated by creative and account sides of the agency. More recently, however, Vito informed us that they have decided to mix things up once in a while, encouraging each employee to rotate desks with one another. Their best work has derived from a fusion of these two different sides, resulting in some seriously strategic and innovative campaigns. Instead of cubicles, personal workplaces are situated on long tables or in sectional squares. Conference rooms are inviting, visible through glass and again fixed with chalkboards. Drafting, copying, and printing rooms are located in high foot traffic areas to ensure fluidity and interaction. At Sid Lee, employee comfort is also favoured with giant beanbag chairs and spacious gathering tables at the heart of its first floor.
Perhaps one of the foremost requisites for a thriving business is being able to interact socially with clients and persons of interest. Sid Lee takes great pride in spreading the word of their agency’s uniqueness by becoming in touch with all aspects of global creativity. Featured in their office are two fascinating wall-width pieces of graffiti art: The first by an artist collective from Amsterdam, and the second a vivid depiction by Irish illustrator danleo. These pieces were the centerpiece of an office party in the space, where, by the sound of a DJ, Sid Lee employees mingled with notable names from within the advertising industry, along with other compelling and trendy urbanites. The ability for such space to transform from workplace by day to party central by night speaks of the nature of Sid Lee – cool, unafraid, open, and overall groundbreaking. The agency is fresh and thrives off their employees, all tied to a space that is just as functional as it is beautiful and impressive.