Updated digs at Metro Hall mean more work stations
Nov. 23, 2016
The City of Toronto is changing some of their office spaces to accommodate more people with less space. Mayor John Tory was at Metro Hall on Tuesday to speak about the changes, which are part of a modernization plan for the city.
“I have done this before, in business. I know how to do this,” he said, speaking with reporters after touring one of the new work spaces.
Currently two office spaces in Metro have already undergone changes, with another planned for the new year. The city plans to discontinue 15 leases over the next few years, and optimize existing space.
The two floors of Metro that have undergone “modernization” have increased their employee capacity quite a bit. The 15th floor, completed in July, increased workstations by 51% – starting with space for 98 in July of 2015, and ending with space for 148 in February 2016. The 2nd floor increased its workstations by 36%, from 234 workstations in April 2016, to 318 in September 2016. The 1st floor of North York Civic Centre is set to begin its improvement process in January 2017 and is scheduled to complete in May 2017.
One city staff person who works on the new 2nd floor at Metro Hall thinks the new design accommodates more dialogue. “The open floor plan has allowed me to connect with colleagues in a much more interesting way,” Margaret Szots wrote in an email to Signal Toronto. “I find that we engage in spontaneous conversations about work problems with people outside of our group, providing new perspectives,” wrote Szots, a manager in corporate-wide strategic initiatives. “I also find that I collaborate more with my staff as I am more available to them – they don’t have to schedule formal meetings to discuss simple issues.”
City Hall and elected officials’ office space is not part of the scope of the current plan, but city staff say they may eventually expand.
The modernization plan also includes making some services available online or at kiosks, to save the cost of in-person assistance, and changing certain existing work spaces to accommodate more employees. A chief transformation officer will be hired by the City Manager’s Office in the new year to oversee corporate-wide business transformation.