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We are on the move!

Starting May 1st, 2024 good ship LGeo is sailing off to our new digs on extremely cool Commercial Drive. Specifically, we are moving to 303-1510 Commercial Drive which is right above the (haha) liquor store. We are moving for a bunch of very good reasons, but primarily because we need some more space to grow.



As a geospatial company, making the decision on where to move was long and in-depth and likely required a needless level of analysis well above and beyond what a normal company would consider.


Here’s how we made the decision:

  • Currently, we are an East Vancouver firm.  Meaning most of our staff live in East Vancouver and many actually live in close proximity to our current office at Hastings Street and Nanaimo Street. So a first criterion for the new office location was to be somewhere close to the current office in East Vancouver.

  • Second, we all love working in a “neighborhood” setting with local serving retail such as grocery stores, drug stores and cheaper restaurants. These are some of our favourite things, so that really narrowed our search down to high streets in East Vancouver.

  • Third, we wanted to keep our costs down, which means no fancy real estate and no AAA office space. We do however want to materially improve our working conditions so the office space should be purpose built, at the minimum.

  • Finally, we wanted to be close to transit, cycling infrastructure, park space and abundant lunch options. As such, large swaths of the City were off limits to us.


Given those criteria, we had basically three options:

  • Stay put in Hastings Sunrise,

  • Decamp to Gastown,

  • Or go to the Drive.


On balance, Gastown wasn’t neighbourhood-y enough for us and there simply are not a lot of great office options in Hasting Sunrise (alas). As such, off we are to Commercial Drive. If you think all of the above was carried out as qualitative research and assessment, you’d be wrong.


Nerdy analysis below:

Nerdy Stat

Old Office (2405 Hastings)

New Office (1710 Commercial)

Winner

Total estimated daily one-commute distance

70km

65km

New office

Average commute distance

5.0km

4.6km

New office

Walking distance to green grocer

20m

120m

Old office (and its Donalds Mart so a clear victor)

Number of independent cafes or restaurants within a 5 minute walk

34

54

New office

Number of licensed restaurants/pubs/bars

2

8

New office

Number of Parks

2 (Pandora, Templeton)

3 (Mcspadden, Victoria, Grandview)

New office

Number of honks per day at permanent left hand turn restrictions

20

0

New office

Most Proximal Pizza Joint

Hi5 Pizza and Donair - 0m

Sopra Sotto Pizzeria

  • 0m

Tie


As you can see, we are in for an upgrade!


Now you may be asking yourself, isn’t the office dead? Can’t we just make do and embrace remote work? My answer to this is a clear no. Here’s why we love in-person work:

  • Sure, it’s more effort to commute into the office and sure, it's distracting when somebody vociferously discusses their love of soy curls and sure, we all have to wear pants, but all of those things can actually raise our productivity and make us better consultants:

  • First, separating work from home is useful: Setting a boundary between your work life and home life is really good for you. A moderate commute can also be good for you if you don’t drive a car alone (more on that in a later blog post). 

  • Second, working in person creates bonds of trust that are crucial in higher stress jobs like consulting. Basically, soy curl discussions (while distracting) humanize your colleagues and give you insight into their qualities and motivations which is crucial for trusting relationships

  • Finally, acting professionally sometimes means feeling professional. While I am not advocating for formal office attire, there is something to be said about being fully clothed whilst attending a meeting.

  • Above and beyond office culture, I will hazard that in-person work is more effective for work quality. The classic example I always give is the at-the-desk conversation on methods or quality assurance. Screen sharing is great, don’t get me wrong but, at a remove you can’t read somebody’s body language when you give them feedback and it’s a lot harder to grab a hold of their mouse and keyboard to show them something right there. Additionally, unless you are in super VR mode, there is currently no virtual equivalent for walking around the office and taking a look at the cool stuff folks are working on. 


All that being said, remote work has a time and place as well. There are plenty of valid reasons a colleague may want to work from home, and we respect that. High levels of trust (see above) mean that our good colleagues are able to take a hybrid approach as needed. While many companies may be enforcing strict return-to-office policies, we’ve never found that necessary - it turns out when you offer good colleagues, good work, and a good office environment at a location that meets all reasonable needs, folks want to be in office as much as we want them to be there. 


So, yes we are wedded to the office and yes, we are moving.  


Can’t wait to see you in our new space.


- The LGeo Team


A short distance, but a big change.


The sun is setting on LGeo Hastings/Nanaimo

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