In an online video, an off-road motorcycle roars up to a new under-construction office building near 84 Avenue and 200 Street in Langley.
Rider Andrew Westlund, the owner of the building, then proceeds to give a tour of the structure, gunning his bike up half-finished stairs to show off some of the unique features of his project.
As head of the Westlund Group of Companies Westlund oversees several companies, including Apex Wireless, SKY Helicopters, SKY Hangar, Mode Photography, Fluid Day Spa, The Link Professional Services and Otter Lake Cabins and Agency Media, the video-centric creative agency responsible for the clip, viewable at the building website.
It is a different type of promotional video for a different type of office building, Westlund told Black Press Media.
Westlund plans to have the building, dubbed Your Workspace, as a place where people who work for some of Westlund’s various companies share space with leaseholders from other businesses – all sharing in an environment that ensures they keep bumping into each other.
“I’m proud of the building I built,” Westlund said.
“It’s more than a real estate model. It’s based on people.”
It is a way of shattering routine and fostering creativity, Westlund said.
“A single smile and a conversation with someone who is working in [a different line of work] can break routine,” Westlund said.
The building will offer 80 offices, 10,000 square feet of open space, six meeting, rooms, four kitchenettes, a cafe along with a spa, and a rooftop golf green and bar.
There will be “open chairs” that any one can “just be in” Westlund said, and every office has sight lines to the outside.
It is all designed to ensure people in the building keep crossing paths with other occupants, Westlund said.
The goal is to get different perspectives and generate ideas by “colluding” with people who are not part of the same corporate culture.
It means bringing different educational backgrounds, business experience and generations together, Westlund said.
“My wish is that young and old will work together,” he said.
“I believe that it breaks routine.”
“There’s all kinds of companies that have crazy-cool cultures” but that can be just as confining as an old-style top-down management culture, he said.
“One of my battles is to compete with working from home,” Westlund said, to provide an alternative to being isolated from contact with other workers.
That isn’t something that can be fixed when contact is through email, texting or social media, Westlund believes.
“It isn’t the same as [face to face] dialogue.”
Mixing Westlund staff and people from other corporate cultures has already been tried at the company corporate offices in Toronto, he said.
“It went well. And it’s still working.”
Westlund said that he has finally been able to build the office building he always wanted.
”I feel sad for all the employees I have had [working in] small offices and low ceilings,” Westlund said.
“I’ve always regretted that I didn’t re-do things.”
Up next, he said, will be a video featuring footage from a drone flying through the building.
Your Workspace is close to completion and expected to open this spring.