How does the workplace shape and reinforce a company’s culture? At Influitive, it’s just one part of a complex system around creating greater connectivity for employees. The importance of this culture becomes increasingly important as the company continues to grow.
Influitive’s new Toronto space at Peter Street is a reflection of the company’s identity. The beautiful space features many subtle cues that support company culture and business functions. For Fraser Stark, Influitive’s VP of Talent, the details matter.
“We constantly think about the way the meeting design and the physical space design affect actual function in the space”
Fraser is responsible for recruiting and all internal people management functions, with the goal of creating an incredible employee experience from end to end. He comes from a management consulting background with Bain & Co. and knows the importance of creating a strong company culture, nurtured by positive experiences for employees.
Influitive’s new workplace is a big part of shaping the experience that employees have on a day-to-day basis
By featuring glass doors and walls, anyone walking by a meeting room in the space can see who’s inside and who’s involved. It’s one of the ways that Influitive promotes transparency. CEO Mark Organ’s office employs glass walls as well, reinforcing the idea of transparency as well as access to leadership.
Fraser highlights the value of this transparency:
“Just knowing who is meeting and where people are is valuable for us. For example, if you’re a manager and you have two employees that you want to meet, you can see that it’s happening. In addition, our iPads outside each room provide full visibility into who’s meeting in what room”
Rather than opt for a completely open arrangement, Fraser’s team made the strategic decision to keep groups that have to work together in close proximity through assigned seating. For example, it was necessary for project managers to be close to their engineering teams. Influitive also uses paired programming for quality control, making direct collaboration essential.
While seats are assigned, Fraser points out that there is not a shortage of collaborative areas for employees to use freely. An example is the lounge areas placed between any two given departments. These areas act a respite from employee desks and helps employees change up their workspace. The placement also ensures that employees from different groups have the chance to interact.
To balance the open layout with the need for privacy, the space has been outfitted with as many meeting rooms as possible. Additional private sound proof phone booths are provided for employees to take calls without noise disruption.
An Active Workforce
A young workforce at Influitive is conscious of health and wellness in the workplace. Fraser explains that “People love to move around. We have a pretty active workforce, fairly aware of physiological and ergonomic issues. (They’re) not the sedentary, sit-at-your-desk-all-day type. A lot of people take the stairs despite elevator options.”
Influitive provides multiple seating configurations and options for employees to use. Each desk is height adjustable and employees have no shortage of other ergonomic options including around 10 different choices in how to sit – from standing, to kneeling, to using a beanbag chair or a couch.
A gym on-site allows employees to get a workout in during the day. A facility equipped with showers and lockers makes this easy as well. It’s also a huge benefit for cyclists. “We always consider how to make our employees’ lives better” says Fraser – “if they want to cycle in the summer or even winter – they know that they don’t have to worry about what they’ll do when they get to work, because our facilities are equipped with the right amenities.” Located in the downtown core, where parking is at a premium and residents often don’t own vehicles, these amenities are a welcomed perk for employees.
Influitive aims to not only celebrate success but to help their employees achieve it. This is apparent from their Hall of Heroes on display as you enter the office. The Hall of Heroes immortalizes top performing employees on customized movie posters, magazine covers and more. The culture of success goes much deeper though, Fraser notes that:
“Influitive is about achieving success in all facets of life – work-life balance often is distorted to how many hours you work a week. We don’t focus on time at work, we focus on helping our employees achieve success: at work, with their physical health, in their personal relationships. To that end the catered lunches (3 a week) are usually pretty health and allow employees to interact with their peers casually or take the opportunity to move a project forward for example. Our on-site gym means people can squeeze in a quick workout – before or after work, at lunch, or throughout the day.”
Employees are crunched for time, and being able to help them strike a balance is a huge benefit. Through their design of the new office and choice of amenities, Influitive aims to help provide employees with the ability to achieve success in both their personal life and at work.