This content is made possible by our sponsors. Learn more about our OBJ360 content studio here.

New Kinaxis building strikes a chord with employees

New Kinaxis building

In the age of hybrid work, having an office that gets employees excited about coming in truly makes all the difference.

Just ask the team at Kinaxis

In 2022, the company opened the doors to its brand-new global headquarters in Kanata, a purpose-built 160,000 square-foot building designed with employees in mind. 

While the initial catalyst for the new building was the company’s increasing headcount, when the pandemic hit in 2020, a new opportunity arose to start designing an office that would meet the needs of employees both today, and into the future. 

“Coming out of COVID there was a point where a lot of us probably thought, ‘I want to work from home forever,’” says Kinaxis internal communications specialist Holly Norman. “I think this office has changed things for a lot of reasons, one being that it’s just a great space.” 

From the moment you walk through the main doors of the new Kinaxis building, you know you are somewhere special. A bright, modern lobby greets visitors, while funky, geometric silver chairs dot the main foyer. 

While the space feels contemporary, it’s also welcoming and comfortable – a feeling that is carried throughout the entire building. 

Many of the spaces, much like the exterior, feature strong contrasting colours and natural materials. Deep, lush greenery is layered over bright wood panels, while matte black walls bring the grey and white furniture to life. 

Kinaxis new office building

“We really wanted this new space to be modern, open and fresh, with cool spaces for employees without being kitschy,” says Megan Paterson, COO at Kinaxis. “I think we’ve really hit that well. Our headquarters reflects our values, who we are, and what we’re about.” 

Employee comfort was key to the office redesign and was carefully incorporated into the various types of workstations throughout the building, as well as the automatic sensor blinds and LED lighting.

Each floor has a coffee area for hanging out or impromptu meet-ups, while phone booths, private workrooms, low-stimulation rooms and comfortable open-air seating are available to suit different work-style preferences.

Special accessible spaces were also incorporated into the redesign, such as two multi-faith prayer rooms, a parents’ room and a games room to make the back-to-work transition easier for staff.

The building is designed to foster innovative thinking and provide spaces for equal parts collaboration and quiet contemplation, says Paterson, adding that the new office also acts as a headquarters for all Kinaxis employees, hosting regular visits from staff from other locations. 

Kinaxis new building

Striking a chord with employees

Kinaxis is also a place where creativity is as prominent as technology. 

One of the most striking things about the walls of Kinaxis is the art. Thanks to a program through the Canada Council Art Bank, some of the country’s top artists are on display. 

The rotation of fresh art is inspiring, Paterson says, and is a real focal point in the space.  

“I love that we highlight Canadian artists,” she says. “This is our headquarters. We are a global company, but we’re Canadian first. I’m so proud when I walk in, and I see these beautiful pieces of art that remind us of that.”

The new office building also reflects a deep passion for the company, as well as of CEO John Sicard: Music. 

An accomplished musician himself, the company’s new space has a musical theme that carries through from special decor touches to the names of meeting rooms.  

The Hive, a modern take on the “lunchroom” is an expansive space, featuring a beautifully lit stage, with top-of-the-line audio and broadcast equipment. Monthly, Kinaxis welcomes live performers to the space for their InConcert series – in partnership with the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC) – and hosted Canadian icons Blue Rodeo for their office opening.

The Hive’s stage is also home to employee band concerts, where Sicard will often perform with them. 

Wellness at work

While employee work habits were an important consideration during the redesign, health and wellness were also a top priority.

The new building offers a top-of-the-line fitness centre with a Fitness & Nutrition Specialist for employees to reach their personal fitness goals. 

The centre includes a cycling studio, full weight room, cardio equipment and a dedicated space for daily group classes delivered by certified instructors. They also offer virtual yoga and stretch classes for remote employees as well as a variety of fitness challenges to add excitement, inspire and motivate all employees to exercise and stay active. 

Kinaxis HQ

In 2023, they expanded the fitness offerings to Chennai, India and recently to Rotterdam, Amsterdam. 

With a big focus on health and wellness, the food onsite had to match.  

Neil Butts, the director of Culinary Programs, and his team work hard to offer employees healthy food options in the company’s zero-waste cafeteria – a task made easier by Kinaxis being a part of the 100-kilometre food program, which promotes the use of ingredients from nearby farmers and vendors. 

“The goal of the culinary program is to not only provide healthy food, but to also provide a medium to connect and collaborate with one another,” he says. “We encourage employees to try to connect with those they don’t normally speak with and share a meal together.”  

The company’s dedication to fun flavours and exciting meals isn’t just for the lunchroom, says Butts. Fridges are stocked with Kombucha and specialty sweet treats like sorbet are provided in the summer – all of which can be enjoyed on the company’s rooftop patio.

“The passionate Facilities team fully outfitted the rooftop with umbrellas, lounge seating for work, as well as a cooking area for summer BBQs. It’s the perfect addition to the building,” he says. 

With a plethora of workspaces for employees to choose from – and plenty of room for the company to grow – there is no doubt that the new office is a place employees want to be.

“We genuinely love coming here,” adds Norman. “It helps foster our culture and sets us up well for the future. Overall, people are thrilled to have such a cool place to work.”