How Are You Going to Attract and Retain Top Talent?

Posted in Blog, Expert Series
Jul 4, 2018

This blog is provided by Invest Ottawa’s proud sponsor, CBRE, as part of our Expert Series. View the full series here

graphic of wellness images showing a woman doing yoga and a common area

Wellness in the workplace

High quality employees, aka “top talent,” are the most sought-after commodity for tech companies today. In many global economies, including Canada, there is a shortage of skills and therefore talent is at a premium.

This begs the question, how are you going to attract and retain the best and the brightest talent so your organization can reach its maximum potential?

First off, we have some good news, Ottawa is a great city for tech companies. Here’s what you get with the capital advantage:

One contributor that’s becoming more significant in attracting and retaining top tech talent is real estate. The power of real estate refers not only to its location or type of building, but also how the flow and vibe of your office can harness the drive of your employees.

Ottawa ranks 2nd across 10 of Canada’s largest real estate markets when it comes to tech.

Great workplace design drives creativity and innovation. Studies prove that the highest level of innovation comes from people who have access to better designed workspaces, have more choice in when and where to work and have greater access to amenities. People working in these environments report more meaning and purpose in their work, thereby improving retention.

infographic showing What is most important to your labor force

What is most important to your labor force

Many of you reading this might be thinking, “well, that sounds great, except I don’t have a multimillion-dollar budget to spend on beer taps and meditation pods.” Let us assure you that outfitting an office that is on trend and on budget is more attainable than you think. Additionally, consider real estate typically accounts for around 10% of a company’s overhead, whereas employee salaries represent 60-70%. Small investments to improve your office space can have a big impact on the bottom line by helping you retain and engage talent.

Today, employees are looking for space that aid in greater collaboration, mobility and choice in work environment along with health and wellness features that go beyond a simple gym. The modern workforce wants access to ergonomic furniture, mobile technology, access to natural light, good air quality, acoustic comfort and ambient temperature.

All of this can be achieved with the right team of professionals on your side.

According to research by Steelcase, 70% of workers say they waste up to 15 minutes just looking for a space to meet. If a typical meeting is scheduled for 30 minutes, spending half that time finding a meeting room is a significant loss to productivity. Today’s workforce wants more collaboration space as it has been linked to encouraging new ways of thinking, problem-solving and promoting knowledge sharing. That said, each organization needs to strike a balance between individual workstations and shared spaces that’s appropriate for its workforce.

As we embrace an increasingly mobile lifestyle, 60% of companies now offer their workers telecommuting opportunities according to Gallup. Millennial workers don’t want to be nailed down to one spot from 9 to 5, rather they embrace technology to move around, remain engaged and work beyond the confines of the office.

Health and wellness is the next frontier in office space design. Budgets of all sizes can implement the key features of a WELL Certified office – felt paneling to absorb sound and create acoustic comfort, sit-stand workstations, access to natural sunlight or views to promote longer and less-interrupted sleep.

infographic showing Seven concepts of the Well Building Standard

Seven concepts of the Well Building Standard

Taking this concept one step further, exciting new developments such as Zibi, located on the waterfront in the fringe core, will be One Planet Certified. Zibi will be one of the world’s most sustainable and environmentally conscious communities on the planet by following 10 simple principles such as zero carbon, zero water, sustainable food and water just to name a few. Companies that locate here will be creating a competitive advantage for their organization.

Zibi overview graphics


The rest is up to companies to compete fiercely and set themselves apart leveraging culture, real estate and design.

CBRE Team and contact info

CBRE Ottawa is a full service commercial real estate firm. The Office Leasing Team that consists of Dominic Dostie, David Glick-Stal and Tessa Laberge is founded on a passion for real estate. The team aligns themselves with office occupiers to identify space solutions to meet their specific needs in the most cost-effective way possible. Meet the team at


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