Deeper Insights: SnapCab – Leading the Evolution of the Office: Part One
For over 35 years, SnapCab has been a leader in developing architectural products that are long-lasting, safe to use, and versatile for a variety of environments. We sat down with Glenn Bostock – SnapCab Founder and CEO – to discuss how Canadian business leaders can prepare for the evolution of the office, and how the team at SnapCab is playing an important role in reinventing the offices of the future. Check back for Leading the Evolution of the Office: Part Two where we discuss further insights with Sahiza Hossenbaccus, Chief Financial Officer at SnapCab and TEC Member.
Answered by Glenn Bostock, SnapCab Founder and CEO
TEC Canada: The huge shift to remote work – brought on by COVID-19 – has led many to wonder what the future of the office looks like. What insights and predictions can you share with the Canadian business community?
Glenn Bostock: We imagine that the future of work will likely see fewer people taking public transportation into the city, and more people working from home. Because of this, we may see more coworking office spaces in suburban areas. To help fill the need for company culture, employees will come in one day a week – and expect flexible spaces when they’re at the office. For a space to transition from a classroom, to a conference room, event space, or individual meeting space – the commercial interior design community is talking about the future of the office being a “Kit of Parts” that is movable and flexible.
TEC Canada: COVID-19 has made many business leaders abruptly change and re-evaluate how they do things internally. How has COVID-19 impacted the team at SnapCab and how you operate as an organization?
Glenn Bostock: We do far more online meetings. Our administrative team works part-time from home and comes in periodically for face-to-face (masked and socially distanced) meetings. The factory team members have been given different color-coated masks, and they work in small groups around the building, so they have a “family bubble” at work. We’ve also brought in additional refrigerators, microwaves, watercoolers, and coffee makers. These help us create mini-kitchens and prevent everyone from having to gather in a concentrated area for lunch. Additionally, our Sales team works from our isolation pods and our showroom is used as a working showroom. When we have a vendor visit, we use the SnapCab Consult to safely meet and communicate without the use of masks.
TEC Canada: SnapCab has undergone a significant transformation over the years – from its beginnings of creating modular elevator interior systems to expanding focus to flexible workspace products that are designed for ideas to emerge and evolve. What’s the secret to SnapCab’s continuous evolution and success?
Glenn Bostock: We have a philosophy that is utilized in our products and company culture – everything is flawed, and you should design an allowance for flaws in your products, culture, and systems. We already assume that employees are going to make mistakes – which we refer to as “turnbacks” – and have created a company culture that rewards employees for turnbacks. Whoever reports a turnback gets a ticket and whoever makes the most turnbacks gets to spin a prize wheel – where employees can win everything from $100 to an extra day of vacation. We can then leverage people’s strengths and help the team with their weaknesses. I believe that being open with your weaknesses builds a close company culture where people are kind and helpful.
TEC Canada: During the pandemic, SnapCab pivoted its product line from meeting pods to individual isolation and testing pods – which led to being featured by Export Development Canada (EDC) for its fast and innovative response. What was the background behind the decision to pivot and what do you think made it so successful?
Glenn Bostock: At the beginning of COVID-19, we were all in shock. Our first focus was figuring out how to have people work from home, how to work safely in the facility, and how to find new vendors so that we could continue the work that we were doing.
After seeing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking manufacturing companies about what they could do to help, we knew we could be of service. We had seen examples of testing booths in other parts of the world and realized we could make something similar. We ended up working with the design and healthcare communities and now – we’re coming to market with a formal design.
SnapCab specializes in creating private pods for open workspaces. When COVID-19 struck, they pivoted their pod system into testing pods that allowed health care workers to conduct low-risk tests on multiple patients. For more information about SnapCab and how they have shown resilience and innovation through the pandemic and economic crisis, view their feature from EDC’s “Business as Unusual” campaign below.