Inside the Coolest New Office in Canada: GM’s Canadian Technical Centre Markham
American automaker General Motors marks its 100th birthday later this year, and GM is celebrating with more cutting-edge innovation than ever before. At the forefront stands GM’s new Canadian Technical Centre Markham Campus. Check out what makes it so cool—for the cars of tomorrow and today’s employees.Start Slideshow
Hitting the Mark(ham)
GM’s Canadian Technical Centre Markham Campus offers a whopping 150,000 square feet of space—boasting 12,000 square feet of state-of-the-art test labs, cafeteria space, meeting rooms, vehicle labs, and more. It is an integral part of GM’s mission of redefining mobility with electric, autonomous, connected and ride-sharing vehicles, as they work to create a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.
An Elevated Environment
Employee wellness was a prime consideration in planning the workspace, as each of the 300+ employees get an ergonomic desk and chair that adapt to the different work styles. A cool feature are the removable white boards – sketch an idea, take the whole board out with you back to your desk and hang it in your work area.Browse Open Jobs
Styled to Turn Heads
The campus was designed to feel personable, collaborative, and welcoming, GM says. In fact, even though the campus spans 150,000 square feet, it can feel like a small office, the company insists. Branding, design, and even the furniture were chosen to make it feel personable and intimate.
1,000 square feet is vehicle lab space, where employees can operate full-end spectrum software development. Plus, those garages are equipped with Wi-Fi, GPS, XM, AM, and FM signal reception, GM says. (That means employees are never without Pandora, too.) And another cool fact: this campus has a 20-vehicle port with a solar panel roof that powers electricity in the building.Browse Open Jobs
The campus was designed with “Canadiana” in mind: sky, earth, and water elements are used throughout the building. The space was also designed to be open and transparent. The use of glass eliminates visual barriers “that lead to social barriers and enables productive spontaneous collisions by employees,” GM says.
Best of Both Worlds
One of the four engineering facilities under the Canadian Technical Centre umbrella, Markham campus houses 90 conference and meeting spaces across the campus’ three floors. Some are small—they fit just two or three people—while the Atrium can hold more than 300 innovation-enthusiasts at a time.
In its cafeteria, employees can eat locally grown and sourced meats and produce from full in-house catering Food Services by Dana. (They can also work off a large lunch at the onsite gym open 24/7.) Natural woods, live-edge finishes, and lounge furniture such as comfortable booths make the space feel more like a posh restaurant than a work cafeteria.Browse Open Jobs
Work Hard, Play Hard
The cafes at this GM campus aren’t just about food. They’re also big on fun, GM says. There are pool tables and foosball tables, plus TVs, for employees who want to work hard and play hard.
Meeting spaces at this campus are big on tech. Each space has the latest video presence technology, GM says. Screens in various rooms also display more than the menu of the day: they share “a digital visual metric on what’s important,” so that no employee feels left out.
GM also uses what it calls “jewel box” effects to make the campus more comfortable. “The jewel boxes allow for the ‘we’ spaces to be integrated into the space and not feel cut off from the rest of the space—as if they were in a closed room,” GM explains. These jewel boxed-rooms are perfect, GM says, for small team meetings or informal work sessions.
From 3D printers, full Ubuntu machines and, of course, automation software helping power the latest self-driving cars, GM is as high tech as they come. To support all the tech, IT is at the heart of the facility and in the aptly named Pit Stop. After all, no matter how futuristic cars become, GM will always stay true to its authentic transportation roots.
Learn More: Visit General Motors' Glassdoor Profile
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