Sun Life Financial’s new headquarters reinforces the company’s startup-inspired culture with spaces designed to spur ideation, creativity and teamwork. Occupying 14 floors of the One York Street Tower in Toronto’s financial district, the headquarters brings together more than 2,000 employees from two locations and offers them choices about how and where they work.
The design team consulted with 25 Sun Life business groups to create an open-plan workplace that provides a bright, flexible environment with a variety of collaboration and meeting spaces. An agility program frees employees to work from any location. All workstations have sit-stand desks. Glass-fronted offices and meeting rooms create a sense of transparency.
The headquarters includes a staff training center and a landing space outside this area where on-site and visiting employees can work, a full-floor reception area, a meeting center, and cafés and communal spaces on every floor. Floor-to-ceiling windows and a wraparound terrace on the top floor offer spectacular views of Toronto’s lakefront.
A post-occupancy survey revealed employee satisfaction levels of 98 percent at the new headquarters, with employee agility 67 percent higher than the original target. Sun Life is now using the design as a model for other office projects worldwide.