Form follows function is an architectural  principle that suggests that “the shape of a building or object should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose”. This principle is being applied more and more in the modern world of work (literally and figuratively, in regards to approaches to work and the actual work environment). And, emerging from this trend are interesting (people friendly and aesthetically pleasing) approaches to work and the work environment.

In Canada, you are seeing more companies/entrepreneurs approaching work (and developing work environments) in a way that best aligns with their personal values (i.e. to support healthy people, healthy communities and healthy environments). For example, you will find organizations like the Evergreen Brick Works that are creating spaces where people can work in a setting that supports local communities, preserves local history and protects the environment. Further to this,  CTV News ran an interesting story (from March 17 – 21, 2014), that explored the following five emerging trends that are shaping the Canadian workplace.


  1. Distributing authority evenly among workers, who have roles and not titles (using self-governance rather than a hierarchy).
  2. Creating results-only work environments (ROWE), where it doesn’t matter when or where you work, but that you meet your goals.
  3. Re-configuring offices for creativity, like Google Toronto, which boasts “one of the most modern and unique office spaces in the city”.
  4. Sharing office spaces and thus freeing companies/entrepreneurs “from the burden of committing to long-term office leases or expensive furnishings, with the benefit of reception services, meeting rooms, and other big office perks”.
  5. Moving from an office building to a coffee shop (the “coffice”), to work or conduct business.

Every generation redefines work and play, as such work and the work environment are forever evolving. So, it will be interesting to see what work will look like in the next ten years i.e. which trends will stick ,which new trends will come along, and which older trends might be updated/recycled for a newer generation.

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