Creating a Modern Workspace: The IITS Renovation Project

IITS Service Desk

The IITS office at UTSC is undergoing a remarkable transformation and the team is thrilled to announce the opening of its Phase 1 renovation. This two-phase project was conceived before the pandemic to meet the growing needs of the team and create a technology-rich environment conducive to collaboration. The renovation will transform the current office into a modern and highly flexible workspace.

Located on the main floor of the Academic Resource Centre (AC200), the new IITS office will share common spaces with the UTSC Library. The first phase of the renovation largely focused on Client Services. The team has moved into their space and is now fully

IITS Service Desk office

operational. “The design idea behind the renovation was to create a common service desk for the entire community to avoid confusion and to provide the team with a well-defined, clean workspace. The old IITS office was not set up to welcome clients, and thus we did not have a system to easily register requests and create cases. Multiple design meetings later, the team now has a reception to cater to the needs of the UTSC community, lots of storage, abundant desk space, along with a workbench that enables them to connect with multiple computers at the same time,” says Abdulrauf Gehani, manager of Client Services.

The renovation has enhanced the office aesthetics. Minimalistic design, with a neutral colour scheme and clean lines, creates a sense of focus and tranquility. One of the key features of the new IITS office is the open-plan layout. The space encourages interaction and collaboration not only within IITS but also with the rest of the community. The furniture, including ergonomic chairs and standing desks, has been carefully selected to improve the comfort and wellbeing of the team. “The space is very fresh, innovative and in keeping with the times of hybrid work. It will serve as a model space to showcase various hoteling and collaborative workspaces. Definitely a huge improvement from before with a strong emphasis on better use of space,” says Hanan Domloge, project manager at IITS.

IITS Service Desk - green spaces

The design plan for the upcoming phase 2 revolves around the same principle of improving collaboration and creativity. The design and construction team has incorporated unique features into the space, which is unlike any other office within the campus. From private meeting rooms with state-of-the-art equipment specially designed for hybrid work, to locker space for the team, a lounge area, meeting rooms of various sizes, to soft seating areas, the design strategy revolved around three pillars: service excellence, innovation, and collaboration.

The second phase of the renovation is already underway and on completion will create a workspace that embraces hybrid work principles while enhancing collaboration and productivity. “IITS space design is a result of cross-campus collaboration and all the IITS staff had opportunities to contribute to the final design. The space we have now is highly functional and transparent and our clients find it open and inviting. The new IITS space could be used as a model for designing collaborative and flexible office spaces elsewhere at UofT,” says Zoran Piljevic, senior director of technology and business transformation at IITS.

Both the IITS employees and the clients have embraced the upgrades delivered through Phase 1 of the renovation. The Client Services team is now better equipped to handle their ever-demanding work and continue providing impeccable service. IITS is excited to showcase the new space and will be inviting the entire community to come and see. Stay tuned, there’s more to come!

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