By Western Standard

October 20, 2021

-Western Standard


Stressed-out civil servants across the country will soon have a place to chill as the Public Works department plans to install cafés and lounge seating in federal offices so employees can “zone out, relax or stretch,” according to Access To Information records.

Blacklock’s Reporter said staff also proposed special seating near windows called “reflection areas” where employees might look outside.

“Every day Canadians spend more than half of their waking hours at work,” said a March 25, 2020 report Healthy Workplace And Inclusive GC Workplace.

“Yet when we think about our health, we don’t consider the workplace as a setting for health promotion. But shouldn’t we?”

The public works department is the largest landlord in Canada as operator of 32,000 federal buildings covering 248 million sq.-ft.

Offices should be more “welcoming” and “supportive” with different sizes of furniture, wrote management.

“We are not all one size so our spaces should not be a ‘one size fits all’ solution,” said the report.

“Government of Canada workplace standards include seating and furniture settings that will accommodate a full range of body types and sizes.”

Proposals included ergonomic chairs, lounges and cafés “to support social gatherings,” and quiet places where employees could do no work at all.

“The Government of Canada workplace provides spaces for social connection, privacy and quiet refuge to support mental health and overall well-being,” said the report.

“A Government of Canada workplace provides a variety of quiet spaces to recharge and reflect away from devices, encourage mental breaks from focused work, encourage relaxation and promote health and well-being in the office. These spaces include cafés and casual seating, phone booths and private offices, reflection areas near windows and recharge rooms to zone out, relax or stretch.”

The plan would divide federal offices into a “quiet zone,” “transitional zone” and “interactive zone” where employees might relocate depending on their mood and workload, it said.