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At Telus, the focus is on less but better office space

Communications giant adjusts its real estate holdings to favour shared-amenity spaces that allow people to work more at home or on the road

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The new Telus Tower, at 25 York St. in Toronto, features creative work spaces for employees who only occasionally need to work from the office. Here, Ambreen Shah and Chris Yiu work in a shared space in June.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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“We want less space but better space,” says Andrea Goertz, the company’s senior vice-president for strategic initiatives. For architects and designers, that means creating new kinds of offices to accommodate this different way of working. Matt Zulawski, Ambreen Shah, Chris Yiu and Jason Lee meet in an informal discussion space.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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In keeping with this trend to rethink how offices can work, Telus has reduced its office space across the country by a million square feet and is planning to drop another 400,000 in the near future. The company aims to get 70 per cent of its employees to work mobile – either at home or on the road – with brief drop-ins for office time. This works for Marco Fragomeni, Rob Atkinson and Ben Kim

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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Telus is using the money saved from selling or repurposing that space to build or renovate deluxe new offices for its employees in Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City and Vancouver, among others. Nadim Jamal, Amanda Lee and Justin Hein find a corner in which to meet in Toronto.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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Vikram Deshmukh works at a mobile workstation. When Telus team members need to come into the office, they book a desk, through an online system, in a shared office. When making a booking, they can see who has reserved around them for the day and they can choose a place close to their team.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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The rotating seats, rather than permanent designated chunks of real estate, allow Telus workers, like Orietta Mukeza, to meet people from different departments. It’s a trend that has emerged in Europe and the United States, but is only recently being embraced in Canada.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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