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Redefining the workplace: Deloitte brings its unique vision for the new world of work to Kitchener-Waterloo

The new workplace provides a more collaborative, innovative and inclusive environment

Kitchener, January 15, 2018 – Deloitte Canada today unveiled its newest office in the heart of Kitchener-Waterloo’s Innovation District. As an integral part of the business community and a large employer in the region for more than 60 years, Deloitte’s newest location exemplifies its dedication to local growth, renewal, and the advancement of the Toronto-Waterloo Region Corridor.

The new office is part of Deloitte’s national strategy to provide increased flexibility and choice around how people work by using design and technology to remove physical barriers, providing a more collaborative, innovative and productive workplace. The space encourages social interaction and collaboration above hierarchy and tenure to create connections and unite the diverse capabilities of its people and clients. This evolving approach to work also reflects the firm’s commitment to inclusion; by removing barriers, individuals can contribute their unique skills in a more flexible environment that adapts to the demand of their work and needs.

The 195 Joseph Street office is co-located with Communitech, one of Canada’s fastest growing tech communities and largest accelerator, where in 2015 Deloitte opened its innovation and prototyping hub D{} (dee-space). Deloitte’s new workplace has played a significant role in the history of downtown Kitchener, running as a tannery from 1853 to 1954. This heritage property will be home to more than 200 Deloitte employees and will combine old architectural elements with new work areas, supported by technology. Locals will recognize the location by its signature smokestack, the last unmodified smokestack in the area and an important landmark.

“By reimagining how we work, Deloitte is fostering greater collaboration and ideas which delivers increased value directly to our clients,” said Linda Blair, Managing Partner, Ontario, Deloitte Canada. “This distinctly different workplace is a unique destination connecting our people, our clients and the Kitchener-Waterloo community in new ways that will build upon the incredible innovation and prosperity of the region.”

Deloitte implemented its new vision for work in September 2013 in its Langley, British Columbia office, later applying the vision in Ottawa, Ontario (April 2014), St. John’s, Newfoundland (October 2014) and in September 2015 opening the Tour Deloitte in Montreal, Quebec. The national head office in Toronto is the largest building to apply the flexible workspace model and opened in October 2016. Most recently, the Saskatoon office transformed its approach to work this past fall.

“This region is a real driver of the Canadian economy with countless organizations on the cutting edge of emerging technologies all located here,” said Peter Barr, Managing Partner, Waterloo and Western Ontario Region, Deloitte Canada. “We’re excited by the potential and certainly feel strongly about the importance of the Toronto-Waterloo corridor. We’re positioning ourselves at the centre of what we believe will become a global innovation ‘supercluster’ in Canada. The transformation of this region has been remarkable and it will only get stronger.”

Deloitte studies have found that 90 per cent of Canadians prefer to work at the office and today’s workers, particularly millennials who now make up more than half the workforce, expect greater flexibility in their workplace. With this research in mind, the vision for the Kitchener-Waterloo workplace is driven by people’s increasing need for choice at work.

Offering flexible design is also good for business. Deloitte research revealed that agile offices are more competitive, leading to a 63 per cent reduction in absenteeism. And 67 per cent of employees say they would be more loyal to companies with flexible work options.

While most workplaces are designed with only five per cent collaboration spaces and 80 per cent personal workspace, Deloitte dedicates 60 per cent of its workspace in Kitchener for collaboration. This makes the office more social, flexible, technological and free of internal ‘silos’, by introducing more collaborative workspaces as well as physical connection points throughout the office. With Deloitte research also revealing that there is an 18 per cent productivity gain for companies that provide employees with access to natural light, 90 per cent of seat space has access to daylight.

Innovative features of the new Deloitte workplace in Kitchener-Waterloo

Historic elements of original tannery building that have been incorporated and inspired the new design, which includes 14 different workspaces that allow employees to choose the best environment for the task:

  • Individual workspace:
        o Personal workstations
        o Sit-stand workstations
        o Quiet rooms with closed doors
        o Dedicated quiet zones
        o Walking station
        o Work with a view
  • Spaces for interaction and collaboration:
        o Flex spaces with different styles of seating
        o Open and semi-open ad hoc meeting spaces and tables
        o Shared space hubs in high traffic areas to encourage connections
        o Touch-point spaces
        o Team space
        o Booths
        o Lounge
        o Café
  • Secure technology to enable connectivity and flexibility:
        o Lighter laptops
        o Secure Wi-Fi
        o Voice over IP phones for mobile work
        o Mobile phone powered boardroom booking system
        o Airdrop technology on shared screens
        o Workspaces with SMARTboards
  • Ideation Lab: An exclusive space created to host clients that is equipped with technology and can be customized to foster collaboration and innovation. The space can be used to run unique Greenhouse and Doblin lab sessions, designed to solve specific pressing challenges and uncover opportunities for clients.
        o Design features include glass panel doors to ensure visibility, writable surfaces, Smartboard technology and all furniture is movable to ensure there are different ways to collaborate
  • Discovery Zone: a gallery like space designed to showcase emerging technology trends that will disrupt (or are already disrupting) industries. These technologies at any given time can include:
        o Advanced robotics
        o Energy
        o Internet of Things (networks and sensors)
        o Artificial and cognitive intelligence
        o Mixed realities (VR/AR- training/experience)
        o Collaborative and connected platforms


About Deloitte

Deloitte provides audit & assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories bringing world-class capabilities, insights and service to address clients’ most complex business challenges. To learn more about how Deloitte’s approximately 264,000 professionals—9,400 of whom are based in Canada—make an impact that matters, please connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

Deloitte LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

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