Community Living British Columbia's offices are getting a makeover. In an interview with Public Eye, communications director Sally Greenwood confirmed the authority is rennovating many of its workspaces throughout the province, turning them into open space offices. Explained Ms. Greenwood, "This is something that's being done more and more in many organizations now." But, in the case of Community Living British Columbia, "any rennovations that we are doing are for the betterment of the space" - to make them more "welcoming environments" where clients will eventually be able to "log onto computers if they don't have Internet access."
Moreover, she said, "I don't think we see such a strong need - as we may have in the past - to have walled office space when one of the objectives of our staff now - both from a quality service perspective, as it relates to service providers, and a community planning and development perspective, as it relates to individuals and families - is to get our staff out of the office, meeting with people more and doing business as it is most suitable for those individuals we're trying to support and work with."
But not all the walls at community living offices are being taken down. "Cubicles will be used for a majority of the office space," said Ms. Greenwood. "And we're ensuring there are private, secluded meeting rooms at a certain ration per number of people in the office."
Ms. Greenwood couldn't say how many workspaces are being rennovated or who's responsible for the open space office initiative. And there's isn't a budget for those rennovations. The reason: the costs are "being amortized through our leases" with private landlords, she explained. "And, in the case of most of our rennovations, it's something that's just considered to be tennant improvements. And these things are covered by the landlord. It's something that makes someone more interest in their priorities. It's just the nature of doing business and securing leases."