Grand & Toy

Canadian e-commerce supplier of products, services and solutions for businesses seizes the opportunity to enhance remote work program


Evaluate business requirements and associate sentiment with regards to continuing a flexible workplace model.

Grand & Toy (G&T) is a leading provider of workplace products and solutions serving Canadian businesses for over 130 years. From the latest technology, interiors and furniture, everyday office supplies and facility resources, to a wide range of print and document services, G&T provides workplace innovation that enables their customers to work better.

With technology advancements, real estate rationalization and increased associate empowerment, G&T strategically adopted a distributed workplace model. Their associates have been able to work remotely on a consistent basis if job requirements can be fulfilled outside of the office, e.g. sales professionals and head office administrative functions. This strategy is an important component of the company’s culture and has successfully allowed G&T to attract and retain talent across the country, while continuing to support the needs of their customers.

This model provided G&T with the ability to react quickly to the impact of COVID-19; a majority of associates in positions that could be managed remotely, were already equipped to work from home. In response to the ongoing restrictions created by COVID-19, the company took the opportunity to better understand how it could expand its remote workplace model, what equipment employees required to be productive and ergonomically safe, and the environmental and social benefits achieved through remote working.


Obtain data driven insights to inform expanding G&T’s remote workplace model.

In July 2020, G&T met with its partner, Better Workplace, a software and consulting services provider that helps organizations improve performance through distributed workforce planning management. Human Resources leadership engaged its partner, WorkFit by Better Workplace, to help them gather the voice of the associate, and to better understand the opportunities related to expanding their distributed workplace model. Basically, they wanted answers to three simple questions to help inform the future of their workplace philosophy:

  • What furniture and technology gaps do associates have in their home office environment that would require support for longer-term remote working?
  • What would G&T’s potential cost savings be based on an expanded remote workplace model?
  • What measurable benefits have associates experienced during the 20-week period since COVID-19?

Nearly 80% of eligible G&T associates completed the assessment. Prior to COVID-19, slightly more than 75% worked from home part of the week. Since COVID-19, 26% more associates expressed a desire to work from home more frequently.

Results and Benefits

Using WorkFit by Better Workplace, Human Resources measured associate work patterns, preferences and work requirements, and gained insights into the potential financial, environmental, and social impacts associated with a distributed workforce program.

Potential Benefits Include:

  • Cost savings: In the 20-week period after COVID-19, G&T associates saved on average $1,060.66 per person in commuting expenses. Improved workspace utilization could potentially save 64 seats and 16,000 square feet of office space annually, based on the surveyed population.
  • Social savings: In the 20-week period after COVID-19, G&T associates avoided 36,400 trips, and saved 24,350 hours commuting.
  • Productivity: Improving associate efficiency and enhancing satisfaction within the workplace by offering greater workplace arrangement flexibility. The data and insights gained through WorkFit supported the decision to provide employees with an allowance to close furniture and technology gaps in their home office.
  • ESG savings: G&T could achieve a significant triple bottom line – environmental, economic, and social savings by expanding its distributed workplace program. Potential annual savings include approximately 1.3 lbs CO2e in office and automobile emissions based on the surveyed population.

Data And Insights
For Planning

  • Create a physical environment
    that reduces risk
  • Implement procedures to ensure employees feel safe
  • Inform policies and procedures
  • Prepare the workforce
  • Weave remote working
    arrangements into your culture
  • Mitigate COVID-19 risks
  • Enhance triple bottom-line

Nearly 80% of eligible G&T employees completed the assessment. Prior to COVID-19, slightly more than 75% worked from home part of the week. Since COVID-19, 26% more employees expressed a desire to work from home more frequently.

Learn More

Better Workplace can help you develop a comprehensive distributed workplace strategy to improve efficiency, sustainability, and profitability. We can provide the tools and expert support to pilot, measure, manage, and scale a distributed workplace plan.

If your organization is interested in improving performance through distributed workforce planning and management, book a demo.

Contact us for more information about WorkFit by Better Workplace.