More workplaces than ever are opting for shared spaces instead of individual cubicles…
Workplace designs for Alberta weather
Weather is often a main subject of conversation in the office – especially in Alberta. This is particularly true in March, when Albertans go from wearing a parka to wearing shorts within a matter of a few days. Offices and indoor workplaces don’t need to contend to changing weather as much as outdoor jobs, but consideration for climate eases the challenges of Alberta’s weather for all employees and guests.
Building lobbies and front entrances are the place for transitioning from outside to in. In the winter, this is the place to unbundle from many layers. In the summer, this is the place to find relief from heat or rain. Design the lobby to be an elegant mud room. Create a welcoming spot to remove outdoor gear with soft seating and tables. Not only are the chairs an ideal spot to wait, they can be used to hold bags while jackets are removed or put on. Add jacket racks, hooks or storage cabinets to hold gear to let all your guests not worry about their many layers when they are visiting the workplace.
Rapidly changing weather means Albertans require a jacket one day and then an umbrella the next. And then the day after may require nothing but a hat. This inconsistency can be alleviated with storage for outdoor gear at every workstation. Resting jackets on the back of chairs is suitable for temporary storage, but cabinets allow employees to wear all the gear they need for their commute and then store it away during office hours. Storage cabinets don’t need to be large, clunky or overbearing. For example, the WorkScape series by Heartwood Manufacturing has hundreds of storage options and many more configuration styles. The cabinets have a low floor profile but create space to store personal gear out of sight and out of mind.
Alberta’s unique climate can also be a benefit for indoor workplaces – the province is one of the sunniest places in Canada. Calgary gets on average 333 days of sunshine annually and Edmonton gets 325 days. These are the two sunniest cities in Canada. Workplaces can take advantage of the sun through windows and furniture that lets ambient light pass throughout the office.