Road Trippin’ … Vancouver

Have you ever felt like a powernap in a cozy log cabin setting would give you just the boost you needed in the middle of a long, productive workday? Ever wished your office staff would hold meetings inside dimly-lit tents instead of bland conference rooms? I’m sure many of us have daydreamt about enjoying a cold beer straight from the tap at the end of a long workweek … while still in the office.

This is all reality for those who work in the Vancouver offices of HootSuite, which I had the pleasure of visiting during our recent trip to the Pacific Northwest.

HootSuite describes itself as “a social media management system for businesses and organizations to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one secure, web-based dashboard.” Some of the social networks HootSuite integrates include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and new Google+ Pages, plus social content apps for YouTube, Flickr and Tumblr, among others.

We here at the Revolution and several other MLS clubs use HootSuite for managing the teams' social media postings and monitoring. You can find more info here:

The folks at HootSuite were gracious enough to show myself and Jason Dalrymple around their office space this past weekend – special thanks to James, Scott and Sandy for the hospitality – and it is absolutely wild.

There’s a quiet, log-cabin themed room which contains nothing more than a few cots for napping. Adjacent to that space is a yoga room and full fitness facility, open for employees to use as they please. The kitchen – a massive space fully equipped for sustainability – is complete with taps for both beer and wine, open to employees for a late afternoon drink on Fridays.

Oh, then there’s the tents. That was my favorite part. There are tents liberally scattered throughout the office space, just in case you’d rather hold a quick meeting there instead of in a conference room. And it’s not like the conference rooms were too shabby – they were all decorated with elaborately themed murals.

It’s not only employees who enjoy the facilities at HootSuite … it’s their pets, too. Employees are invited to bring their dogs into the office and based on the number of canines (all incredibly well behaved) we encountered on our tour, it would appear as though many take advantage of the opportunity.

Reading about the space won’t do it justice, but hopefully the pictures give you a feel for the atmosphere, which was incredibly relaxed. Obviously the folks at HootSuite feel that the environment is particularly conducive to creative thinking and a productive work ethic, and the rapid growth of the company seems to back up those assumptions.

While our visit to HootSuite was the highlight of our Road Trippin’ adventures, we also had the chance to go for an extensive walk around Coal Harbour on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately we missed the orca whales which swam through the harbor on Friday, but it was still an incredibly scenic walk which perfectly highlighted Vancouver’s contrast of major city with a mountain backdrop.

Probably the coolest part of the harbor walk was the seaplanes constantly landing and taking off from the water. Apparently they’re available for tours so long as you have the foresight to plan ahead. Perhaps if we’re still doing our Road Trippin’ series the next time we’re in Vancouver …