Our New Treasury Offices: Piloting Design and Technology to Support Hybrid Work across the VPFO

Friday, July 22, 2022

After years of hard work and planning by the Treasury team and UBC Facilities’ Infrastructure Development team, Treasury’s existing office space in the Old Administration Building has been renovated to become the home base for the entire Treasury team, starting July 20, 2022. 

This project began in mid-2019 as part of an effort to improve collaboration and communication across the Treasury team, which was spread across three campus locations.  

When the team expressed their desire to work remotely in the 2019 UBC Workplace Preference Survey (WES), a unique opportunity formed to reimagine how Treasury could work together as a team, how an office space at UBC could look like, and how to best adopt hotdesking and other technologies to enable flexibility and collaboration.   

UBC’s gradual transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic also played a key role in informing and accelerating Treasury’s planning. Together, the team developed a set of guiding principles, such as no assigned seating unless the individual works solely on campus, to help them make informed decisions throughout the renovation. 

“In 2020 our community was quickly propelled into new ways of working,” observed Human Resources Director, VPFO, Parveen Mann. “Since then, we’ve heard our community’s strong support for hybrid work through our surveys, pilot program, and consultations.   

In support of these findings, the strong lead from the Treasury team quickly became a pilot for the VPFO to explore the potential for space efficiency while maintaining high levels of collaboration and interaction in a hybrid work environment.  

“Teamwork was key in bringing this vision to life,” said Treasurer, Yale Loh. “It was important to me that our new offices were designed with the technologies in place to empower our team to collaborate seamlessly and productively. The entire Treasury team was involved in every aspect of the renovation and provided fantastic feedback along the way.  They really embraced the opportunity to try something new and to approach our office space with an open mind.  In addition, our partners in UBC Facilities and UBC IT helped us build a solution that can be a model for all of the VPFO. I am excited to see how our new tools and approach support this new and more flexible way of working.”  

Prior to renovation, the approximately 1,250 square feet in the Old Administration Building contained nine workstations, two single occupancy offices, two shared offices, with no dedicated meeting space. After multiple rounds of consultation, the newly renovated, open-plan office now includes 12 workstations, six collaborative spaces, and five meeting rooms, accompanied by technologies necessary for brainstorming, team building, and collaboration, including hot-desking software. 

“This pilot shows one exploration of new opportunities for how our physical workspaces can support remote and hybrid work arrangements,” notes Jay Hiscox, Director of Project service in UBC Facilities. “We look forward to working with other teams to create a workplace environment that provides flexibility while ensuring ongoing connection and community.” 

For photos of the Treasury team working in their new office, visit the VPFO Flickr.  

Left: Tax Manager, Holly Shepherd with the cake she designed and bake for the opening event on July 20. 
Right: The Treasury team celebrating the opening of their new office.