Novartis Canada is enticing employees to spend more time working onsite with the opening of its new Montreal office space.

The health-care company brought its workplace culture to life and acknowledged employees’ personal lives by hosting an event that welcomed employees’ families and friends to the new office. “We recognize it’s because of their families and friends that employees are able to thrive on a day-to-day basis,” says Ashley Sardjoe, the company’s vice-president of people and organization. “So we really wanted to take the time to get to know where our employees come from and inspire them to [take advantage of the new office space].”

During the event, a variety of activities were available for children and adults, including a science lab, professional family photos and a wellness zone. It can be difficult for others to grasp what Novartis employees actually do, says Sardjoe, so the company also set up a display where guests could immerse themselves in a patient experience through videos, holograms and testimonials.

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Employees were top of mind when Novartis designed its new office space, he adds. “This was all happening in the midst of the pandemic and we kind of over-invested in this building. We’ve equipped it with state-of-the-art technology. We have an open floor plan with a variety of work environments and discussion spaces for employees. We wanted to create an environment where employees are not only welcomed, but they are inspired and empowered.”

In addition, the company wanted to create a flexible environment where its employees can take the lead on how they work, says Sardjoe, noting that, when he thinks of coming to the office, it’s about more than just working at a desk or inviting a colleague to grab coffee.

“It’s about meaningful experiences we believe can only happen in person so you can forge bonds and create collaboration opportunities. We’re a company that is built on breakthrough innovation. Our mission is to reimagine medicine and our people truly bring this purpose to life. We believe this can only happen when people meet in person, at least for certain interactions.”

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