Government buildings image

DDM – The Federal Government’s best-kept Secret

The Federal Government’s best-kept Secret:


We’ve defined the Future Office as being the best practices of today now applied as a general practice; simply put, when we find a better way to do something, we trend – slowly as global entity, but like a wildfire in small groups.  A perfect example of a wildfire spreading quickly is the Government of Canada and whom better to study of leading by example than our very own government? 

What does the Government of Canada have to do with office furniture?  And even more to the point, what do they have to do with best practices that can be reproduced for profitable revenue growth with small business?  Would not the argument be brought up that entrepreneurs are a distinct opposite of government unionized employees?  And that by trying to divulge value through practices by one for the other would be futile at best, but mostly weak and unsupported?


All of the theoretical questions really boil down to a mathematical equation that is as simple as two words: how much?  As in how much is it going to cost right now, how much is it going to cost in the long run, and how much am I going to benefit from it financially if I went with this option?  For a broader perspective and the more inquisitive mind, the financial benefit itself is broken into different categories: such as how much will this depreciate for tax purposes, how much will it increase productivity, how much will it retain value in the sense of adapting to changes down the road?


We see then, that there are layers of complexity to the simple question of ‘how much’, but that in those two words we encapsulate not only entrepreneurial small-businesses, but proactive large corporations to government offices at every level.  These two words fuel the decisions that every person with purchasing authority has to make, whether it’s a five-thousand or five-hundred-thousand dollar capital acquisition, we absolutely need to know and justify ‘how much’. 

All of this brings us back to the Government of Canada and the massive amount of work that they have put into determining ‘how much’.  Not only have they done it from a high-level perspective, but they’ve taken into consideration some integral market trends and workplace-analytics, in order to comprise one of the most comprehensive guidelines on workplace standards available.  Workplace 2.0 is a forward-thinking and articulate concept introduced by Public Works and Government Services Canada in order to modernize how the public service works, and more importantly narrow down the ‘how much’.
When we talked about the future office not being some distant and creative office-scape, we also indicated that it would be all of the best practices of today being adapted by myriad different business and accepted as general practice.  The ‘edge’ that some businesses have now in productivity and adaptability, will soon be the ‘norm’ in the marketplace.  The leaders in industry have to keep implementing new ways to gain tangible financial benefits in order to maintain an ‘edge’ over other businesses in the marketplace.  This is how the future office is really inevitable, because nobody in business is going to sit around wishing and hoping to drive down costs and increase productivity, they’re going to take action, take risks, and manufacture successes.

The Government of Canada, through Workplace 2.0, manages to encapsulate a majority of the best practices being used by small businesses and corporate offices, and articulate them clearly within a set of guidelines that anyone can follow.  They maximize sustainability for long-term forecasting as well as capitalizing on the cost-of-acquisition benefits from minimization.  I’m hesitant to use the term ‘minimization’ because there was a time when that just meant shrinking workstations, so perhaps the term I should be using is ‘optimization’.
Work space is being optimized, not to just decrease the amount of real-estate being used per employee – which is in itself a cost savings – but to better utilize the dead-space being used in that employee’s indirect absence.  Its re-envisioning spaces and implementing systems that connect staff and employ work-flow techniques that actually improve task-efficiency rather than just say it will.  Workplace optimization is decidedly the heaviest hitter when the contestants for total-cost-of-acquisition are brought into the ring, and still a key player in terms of total-cost-of-ownership, alongside sustainability and adaptability.


To focus in on the original topic, this is something that the government has done on a ‘need-to-know’ basis, and the way I’d like you to understand that is that this Workplace 2.0 is something that you ‘need-to-know.’  It wasn’t drafted for small businesses or corporations – it was designed to be implemented throughout government offices – however the data compiled not only actually helps propel small business and corporations in a revenue-positive way, but because it is frighteningly crucial to your bottom-line, and you need to know and best understand what your bottom-line is, period.  

Workplace 2.0 Summary and how Design Does Matter:

  • Implement sustainable best-practices whenever possible:
here’s a lot of green-washing going on with everyone trying to jump on the bandwagon of sustainability, but some tried and tested standards involve ISO 14001 certification and LEED considerations, from material sourcing radius to recyclable content.
Other sustainable aspects involve strategic future planning, including accounting for space inventory, utilization analysis, standards and guidelines as well as space plans.  This will help determine the flexibility required by the product and save costs from a total-cost-of-ownership perspective. 
  • Optimize space in a manner that isn’t focused on workstation minimization, but employee work-type and corporate culture adherence; the government of Canada has also given sq. meter standards per type of employee, we can learn a lesson from this by adapting our space planning metric from generally-accepted standards to a more progressive and customized model:
Scrap the old space-planning metric!  The new workplace planning equation takes into account multiple factors that contribute to the healthy, mixed planning environments required today.  It does require a more complicated footprint, but only due to the added benefits to managing an adaptable bill of parts.
  • Impact the office ecosystem by allowing natural light and maximizing on non-inhibiting and natural chance-meeting conjunctions:
Productivity and ergonomic studies prove consistently over-time both means and methods for improving the working environment and boosting productivity output from your employees.  Ask your consultant about the best methods to capitalize efficiency gains from your physical space.
All of this points to the two words we talked about: ‘how much.’  At the end of the day, a good interior designer can make most furniture lines look good and permeate with the end-user’s design statement, however it takes careful planning and consideration through the owner’s project management team, to the interior designer, the dealer and the manufacturer, in order to capitalize on the best we’re able to deliver ‘how much.’

For more information Contact: TOTAL OFFICEPlanning Services – Professional Delivery & Installation 420 Banks Road Kelowna, B.C. V1X 6A3 Tel:250.717.1626 / Cell:250.899.5541 Toll Free:1.800.558.DESK (3375) E: info@TotalOfficeBC.caW: