When ecommerce software company Shopify moved to its new Ottawa, Canada headquarters in September 2014, we explored the halls like kids on a tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Six floors – totalling 102,000 square feet – are filled with coworking pods, cosy corners and places to put your feet up. Our team worked with a world-class architecture firm to ensure there were workplaces for extroverts and introverts alike. They poured more than 180,000 pounds of concrete to create custom staircases between floors that allow conversations to continue, instead of being cut off by closing elevator doors.
Every floor has a different theme, including Canadiana and streetscapes. My favourite nook is the library, nestled on our speakeasy-themed floor.
Each meeting room on this floor is named after a cocktail, the exception being the Studio, which is a sound-proof room meant for recording video footage. A new musical instrument seems to appear here each day, turning it into a de facto jam session space as well.
Sidecar is a pair programming room; a small space for two people to collaborate on a development project. Other rooms range from phone booths to Scandinavian sauna-style arenas. We’re able to book them using Google Calendar, and reservations show up on iPads outside the door.
As a company looking to change the future of commerce, Shopify hold onto historical mementos like old-fashioned cash registers to remind us how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go.
This room is one small pocket of a bustling office that includes a yoga studio, massage room and fully-staffed kitchen. A home-away-from-home encourages colleagues to engage in conversations that inspire innovation.
Feeling inspired? Shopify's Director of Design Cynthia Savard will be one of the speakers at our web design event, Generate New York, on 25-27 April 2018. You can view the full lineup in all its glory, and book your tickets now, at generateconf.com.