The future of work is already here

The future of work is already here

How SGH Design Partners is helping businesses across the country develop hybrid office spaces

A hybrid workplace includes both people working remotely and in the office with more flexibility. Seems straightforward, but what exactly does it look like?

When searching for the right hybrid model for you and your team, your business’ working culture, focus, location, size and growth projections all help determine the best approach.

Wildeboer Dellelce LLP, Toronto

As the appetite to shift towards flexibility continues to grow in popularity, this hybrid shift falls within a workplace spectrum. One end has the goal to fully return to the office with 100 per cent assigned seating for each member of the team. The opposite end represents a fully agile workplace with no assigned seating and more space provided for shared collaboration. While these are the two ends of the spectrum, there are many work styles that fall in between. A Toronto-bred, but national, corporate interior design firm, SGH Design Partners, has established five work-style models within this spectrum that quickly gauge where the leadership team is comfortable shifting towards.

Strategizing change is not new to SGH Design Partners. For the past 35 years, SGH has been designing workplaces where people do their best work. Utilizing their envision discovery strategy process as the jumping-off point, SGH has been working with industry leaders to understand what this new hybrid environment will look like for them.

Global Showroom, Halifax

Their interior design studios in Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax have worked with clients across the country. For some clients, like the Canadian forestry company in Vancouver, British Columbia, SGH began their design process months in advance of the company’s lease expiring. With an understanding that their current space was no longer meeting growth and accelerating shifts in work patterns, SGH took the time to listen and analyze their leadership team’s long-term goals, focus and collaboration requirements, and developed a master plan that included hybrid work activities. SGH determined the right square footage required to get them there and clearly outlined what this would look like. With this information in hand, their real estate broker was able to find them a space that checked all their boxes and SGH continued to be an intrinsic part of the team as they moved to complete construction towards the end of 2022.

Innovior Construction, Vancouver

SGH is working with a variety of companies to put in place adaptable solutions that provide options to accommodate both flexible and fixed hybrid work styles. Another one of their clients, a global provider of agricultural science and technology, engaged SGH to work through an envision strategy process to transition from dedicated workstations to a more agile model. Their strategy included the development of enclosed collaboration spaces that met the company’s privacy and confidentially requirements. This was key in gaining trust from key leadership who opted to give up assigned private offices knowing they would not be fully occupied. The gain is that real estate is now allocated to a variety of shared collaboration spaces that will support a seamless hybrid work experience for all employees and will be complete in 2022. It will be a destination space that brings their people together to collaborate, socialize and foster health and well-being.

Munich Re Office, Toronto

The option to pilot hybrid work settings in existing space is also a viable approach. One global pharmaceutical company reached out to SGH to redesign a section of workstations that were currently vacant due to workers successfully working remotely. One solution was bringing in freestanding furniture with integrated technology to virtually connect with employees. SGH also helped incorporate a combination of open and enclosed collaboration zones that supported the shift to a more collaborative work zone in the office.

Ipsos, Toronto

The hybrid workplace is the future, and SGH believes that the office will continue to be the heart and soul of where people work and connect with one another.

SGH is a privately owned national Corporate Interior Design firm with its head office based in Toronto, Ontario. We service clients from coast to coast with our two branch offices in Vancouver, British Columbia and Halifax, Nova Scotia. For more information about SGH Design Partners or to inquire about their services, visit