Frequently asked questions

1. What is Workplace 2.0

Workplace 2.0 is a government-wide strategy introduced and championed by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to support the Clerk of the Privy Council's commitment to workplace renewal. Its purpose is to modernize how the public service works. The objective is to create a modern workplace that will attract, retain and enable public servants to work smarter, greener and healthier to better serve Canadians. Workplace 2.0 will accomplish this by modernizing the physical aspects of the workspace, updating policies, processes and systems that support public servants in their work, and providing new technologies that allow them to connect, collaborate and communicate across government and with Canadians.

2. How is Workplace 2.0 different from what we have now

As a whole office solution, Workplace 2.0 addresses three main elements: the physical workspace, the supporting policies, processes and systems to assist public servants in their work and the new technologies, which enable them to communicate and collaborate in new ways. Key elements of a Workplace 2.0 workspace include space allocations based on Worker Profiles, collaborative spaces, more freestanding and flexible furnishings, use of demountable wall systems and sustainable finishes. Lower panels will encourage interaction and increase natural light and better air circulation. Technological tools such as secure wireless, Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems and high-definition videoconference systems will provide employees with more flexibility to work from different locations.

3. Is Workplace 2.0 only for new buildings

Although new buildings offer the opportunity to plan and design specifically for Workplace 2.0 designs and technologies, most of the elements of Workplace 2.0 can be implemented in existing buildings as well.

4. What is a Worker Profile

Workstation allocations are based on Worker Profiles, which are identified during the planning phase of a project. PSPC developed a Worker Profile questionnaire to help employees determine their profile. A Worker Profile is a snapshot of the type of workers that exist in the workplace and is based on how often they are at their desk, job type, and preferences/needs in terms of mobility. For example, 1) leadership (EX level or higher), 2) fixed (for example, analyst/administrative assistant), 3) flexible (for example, account executive/auditor) and 4) free-address (for example, remote worker/consultant.)

5. What do Workplace 2.0 workstations look like

The renewed workplace requires furnishings to enhance flexibility, mobility and collaboration. While a variety of design solutions are possible, generally new furniture solutions will include more pod layouts, free-standing, mobile furnishings, and collaborative areas. Where panel systems are used, panel heights will be lower, and some panels may be glazed to enhance access to natural light. See the Government of Canada Workplace 2.0 Fit-up Standards for more information. Visit the Workplace 2.0 Photo Gallery for workstation examples.

6. Is there sufficient storage

The move towards an increasingly paperless office will reduce the amount of file cabinets and overhead storage bins required to house files and binders; however, a number of storage options exist to ensure employees have sufficient storage for workplace and personal items. A new fit-up or renovation provides the ideal opportunity to critically assess the amount of storage space required and to institute electronic filing protocols.

7. What is collaborative space

Collaborative space is open, unassigned space that can be used for casual meetings and team activities and may include a variety of chairs, stools, sofas and tables. An interactive white board or other collaborative technology may also be included in collaborative areas. This type of space encourages teamwork, brainstorming, quick meetings and collaborative work on projects. Furnishings are easily moveable to encourage different configurations. Collaborative space is located in open areas.

8. How will noise be managed in more open workspace designs

A number of design elements, including the addition of sound masking systems (included as a base building item in the fit-up standards) can help control noise levels. Employees can use quiet rooms to make calls, have a private meeting with another colleague or to do work requiring a high level of concentration. Employee etiquette also plays an important role in reducing noise levels in the office. Research indicates that high workstation panels give a false sense of privacy. As panels are lowered, employees become more mindful of others around them, and noise levels actually decrease.

9. Is new furniture required to create Workplace 2.0 workspaces

While new furnishings are frequently purchased as part of a fit-up and provide the opportunity to gain the full benefits of Workplace 2.0 designs, existing furniture can be re-used in many instances. For example, some panel systems can be refurbished and panel heights lowered; others can be re-configured to create pod formations or smaller workstations to free up space for collaborative areas. PSPC is available to assist with furniture design and selection. Sample office layouts are provided in the Workplace 2.0 Fit-up Standards, Sections 5 and 6.

10. Are new furnishings for Workplace 2.0 available on Procurement Instruments

PSPC is working to identify products and the associated specifications for furniture requirements for Workplace 2.0 environments. As existing Consolidated Procurement Instruments (CPIs) such as standing offers expire, new CPIs will be created that include new furniture options. Some existing CPIs include furniture suitable for Workplace 2.0 environments.

11. What is telework

Telework is an arrangement that allows employees to work from home or some other off-site location. Telework agreements between the employer and employee can vary from the informal - an occasional day working from home to a formal full-time telework agreement. Telework has been shown to increase productivity and efficiency levels, employee satisfaction and work/life balance. Reducing or eliminating the commute can also result in significant cost savings and environmental benefits. Telework in the Federal Government is guided by the Treasury Board Secretariat's Telework Policy.

12. What is Shared Services Canada, and what is their role with respect to Workplace 2.0 technologies

Shared Services Canada (SSC) was created in August 2011 with a mandate to deliver email, data centre and telecommunications services to 43 federal departments and agencies, and optional services to government departments and agencies on a cost-recovery basis. Its purpose is to consolidate, streamline and reduce duplication in government information management services. It will also strengthen security and the safety of government data to ensure Canadians are protected. SSC and PSPC are partnering to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding that will determine a governance structure, roles and responsibilities, collaboration, participation and innovation on fit-up projects, and including SSC's standards in the Government of Canada Workplace 2.0 Fit-up Standards.

13. What is wireless technology and when will it be available

Wireless technology refers to a wireless Internet (or Wi-Fi) connection similar to what many people have in their homes. Wireless technology is a tremendously useful tool in the workplace as it lets workers access their work remotely, freeing them from their desk. Communication, information and messaging flow more easily when workers can pick up the simplest of exchanges anywhere in the building. Employees can use Wi-Fi to work from different locations within their workplace, such as a collaborative area, quiet room or meeting room. Shared Services Canada is currently examining wireless access options for the federal government.

14. Are wireless systems secure

Safeguarding government information is paramount and wireless Internet can pose security challenges. These issues must be identified and planned at the outset of a project.

15. Whom do I contact for more information on Workplace 2.0

Questions concerning Workplace 2.0 can be sent to, or you can visit Workplace 2.0 (page available on Government of Canada network only). Government departments and agencies may also visit Workplace 2.0 on CGpedia. Questions regarding the Government of Canada Workplace 2.0 Fit-up Standards may be addressed to:

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