Team Member Spotlight: Julie Morris

Julie Morris is an HR-professional with a passion for helping individuals and businesses achieve extraordinary results. She started her career in Human Resources at Whistler-Blackcomb where she was involved in large volume recruiting and training. As a consultant, Julie has had the opportunity to work with some amazing companies on exciting projects, the successes of which are fuelled by the collective energy of the employees.

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PH: A holistic approach

This year Project House is turning four, and we have been getting ready for our next business phase.  After partnering with more than 65 clients, designing and delivering countless projects and solutions, and onboarding over 40 PH team members, we wanted to take stock of what we’ve built so far and where we want to focus next.    

Following our own advice, we enlisted some extra muscle from an energetic and empathetic business coaching team.  Together we have spent the summer diving into our project stories, mining our business data, brainstorming creative ideas, and answering tough questions about what drives our business and inspires us. We have enjoyed highlighting which services give us the best opportunity to thrive and provide value, as well as reminding ourselves what makes PH so unique.   

We are proud of being a part of a business community that acknowledges the considerable impact that happy, motivated, healthy, and comfortable employees have on productivity, retention, achievement, and financial success.  

What we’ve discovered is that we are drawn to ensuring our clients are successfully empowered with effective and practical solutions: 

  • Sustainable and positive management practices and systems to engage people better 
  • Beautiful and practical spaces where individuals and teams can thrive 
  • Tools and facilitation to maximize employee strengths and talents 
  • Strategy to align brand and culture across key business areas. 

This isn’t a wholesale change from what we’ve been doing, but at the same time it feels like a shift into a holistic approach where all of our experience, skills, and values click into place.  What does Project House do?  We help leaders create productive and engaging workplaces. 

We are excited by our ability to combine best practices, tried and true solutions, creative ideas, and industry innovations into achievable and customized solutions. 

You will start to see this focus in our branding, in the work we take on, and in the types of workshops we provide.  And as always we welcome your feedback, questions, encouragement, and referrals!   

Next up?  Crystal and I are heading to Amsterdam, where we will participate in the Smart Workplace Design Summit, a conference that celebrates the powerful combination of HR and Workspace best practices.  This is a perfect fit for Project House, as it aligns exactly with our design and solution-focused business model.  We can’t wait to tour innovative offices and exchange ideas with a range of speakers from across Europe, and come home inspired! 

Stay tuned for more, and as always, THANK YOU for being part of our business journey.   

PH Team Member Spotlight: Cheryl McMillan

Cheryl is one of Project House’s talented designers, focused on furniture and interior design.  Cheryl graduated from the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Interior Design, and has worked on many architectural and design teams since then. It has always been Cheryl’s personal mission to provide dynamic and creative spaces that ‘work’.

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Humility – Rick Warren

Embracing Conflict

As a kid, I was very uncomfortable with conflict. I wanted everyone to get along, and when they didn’t, it made me uneasy and anxious. I often tried to solve problems that weren’t really mine, and was eager to build bridges between people in an effort to keep the peace.

Early in my career, as a newly promoted manager in video games, I continued to struggle with conflict, as I interpreted all argument as discord, and I believed it was my responsibility to maintain harmony within the team in order to keep people motivated and moving forward. Once, in a technical team meeting, a discussion about how to approach a challenging new feature turned into a particularly heated argument. As was normal for me, I waded in and tried to diffuse the tension before it got out of hand. A software engineer (who I have since thanked) turned to me and told me that, by trying to make everyone get along, I was in fact blocking creativity and the healthy flow of ideas.

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What the heck is an .eps file?

When working with a Graphic Designer, there comes a time where the final art files are delivered to you, and you can begin the exciting process of planning what you’d like to do with them, be it for a vinyl wall decal or in an email signature. Knowing which file type should be used for each of these kinds of projects can be confusing – should you choose a .png or .ai? …and what the heck is an .eps file?

These questions can often pop up when a branding folder full of logos using different file formats is handed over to you, and as with most things, clear communication is key to getting the most from your designer and saving time and money. Rather than a flurry of emails explaining what type of file to use and where, it helps to understand the basics of file types and to know exactly what you want out of the final product and which files you need to get it done.

Here is a guide to some of the different file types used by Project House Graphic Designers on a daily basis to help our clients make the most of their graphic projects. We’re going to start today with raster and vector based files, because this is the major differentiator of file types.

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Project House Client Spotlight: Connie Pretula

Connie Pretula is an inspiring health coach to mature corporate women, using a holistic approach to nutrition and life.

The design team at Project House was thrilled to partner with Connie to design and create a beautiful and informative marketing brochure, using key messages from her mission and values in combination with beautiful new photographs of Connie and her food, taken by our talented pal Kevin Shoesmith.

project house connie pretula graphic design brochure mockup

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Feeling Pinched? 10 Signs It Might Be Time For A New Office Space

You might be feeling the pinch of an overcrowded workspace without even realizing it. Here are 10 reasons it might be time to upgrade your office space:

  1. Getting up from your desk is an agility contest. You can’t get out of your desk area without climbing over and around boxes and mounting piles of paper, supplies and other materials.
  2. You have downsized desk sizes at least twice already. In an attempt to gain more workspace for new hires, you’ve forced everyone to purge their stuff and sold them on the idea of further collaboration by sitting closer together…twice! You are pretty sure your employees will all walk out if you ask them to downsize yet again. Besides, you’re not sure you can actually buy smaller desks than the ones you have now – they need to be at least large enough for a laptop, right??!
  3. You have taken over every meeting room with workstations. This is classic – you need more space and there is a big room over there, just waiting to be filled with more bodies…but wait, how can you hold a team meeting, entertain or meet with clients…in the hallway? No wait…see #6.
  4. Your new hire has to sit in the lunchroom.  The lunchroom is already standing room only…and you have two new hires starting next week and they will likely have to move in there too. You might have to put everyone on a 5 minute rotating lunch schedule! It’s important to have breakout space – somewhere for people to eat away from their desks, collaborate, and have informal conversations.

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PH Team Member Spotlight: Sandi Callender

Sandi is Project House’s Engagement Manager.  Her many responsibilities include welcoming and onboarding new clients, training new team members, tracking all of our projects, and keeping on top of monthly commitments and events.  Sandi joined our team in March 2015 and she has been instrumental in helping us keep the trains running on time ever since!
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The Story of The Baker

A story we often tell when we get asked what Project House is all about, is one about a Baker who loves to bake pies.  We’ll call him The Baker.  The Baker made pies all of the time.  His pies were well-loved by his family, who demanded pies for every conceivable occasion.  His pies were delicious and better than anything available in a shop.  Over time,  The Baker started making pies for his kids’ fundraising events, for his friends and their friends, and before he knew it, his pies were in such high demand that he had a business on his hands and he needed to hire some helpers and find a community kitchen space several days a week just to keep up with the orders.

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