Creating workable spaces

Creating workable spaces

< Back to Articles | Topics: Member Profile | Contributors: Submitted on behalf of e3 Office Furniture | Published: July 2, 2024

People often ask Terry Hickey how his office furniture business is doing as more companies move to work-from-home or hybrid models. They’re usually surprised when he responds that they’re thriving—even as the industry struggles to regain sales and profitability in a post-pandemic world.

Hickey, the owner of e3 Office Furniture, attributes his company’s prosperity to its early adoption of e-commerce, flexibility for employees, affordable products, and superior customer service. With customers in every province and territory in Canada, Hickey says this is a “testament to the company’s e-commerce success.”

e3 started doing e-commerce back in 2010, when the company started as an online-only presence before moving into their own storefront in Dartmouth seven years later. When the pandemic hit, e3 employees were already set up to work from home, and their e-commerce store was already in place. That’s why the company was able to maintain profitability during and after the pandemic—surpassing pre-pandemic sales in 2022 and achieving double-digit increases in 2023 over the previous year.

As the company continued to grow, it moved to a new location in Dartmouth Crossing just over a year ago. It’s one of the few LEED-certified commercial buildings in Halifax Regional Municipality. Their customers often tell them that they have one of the region’s best showrooms for business furniture.

With sales staff in western, central, and eastern Canada, the company has retained its hybrid work model over the years. Only Halifax has employees that come to an office space every day.

Except for delivery and installation staff, no two employees work the same hours. Everyone starts and ends their days at different times. “This helps reduce the stress of the morning routines, plus allows staff to balance family obligations towards the end of the day,” says Hickey. “All staff can work from home, so they can manage their work and home obligations without negatively affecting their service to our customers.”

Meeting customer needs

e3 also strives to offer solutions to meet their customers’ budgets. “Our customers tend to be owner-operated businesses where people are spending their own money or mid-size organizations where they are directly accountable for the expenditures they make,” Hickey explains. “We don’t have any large call centers, banks, or provincial governments as customers. Our customers buy on value and demand a high level of service.”

The company boasts of having a larger number of staff than its competitors who are well-trained in office space planning, allowing them to respond quickly with office space designs and quotes. Unlike many other competing office furniture suppliers, most e3 sales staff are equipped to provide space planning services.

As an independent dealer, staff can offer customers products from any Canadian, American, or international supplier without being obligated to promote any manufacturers. Hickey says this allows staff to find options that are the “best fit for their customers.”

Changing workspaces

Hickey also took note of how the office furniture marketplace changed greatly during the pandemic. Rather than buying office furniture for one or two people at a time, many e3 customers were redesigning their entire office spaces while staff were at home. Companies are also now paying better attention to how the design of their workspaces impacts their employees.

With plenty of ergonomic, flexible and collaborative workspace options to choose from, e3’s own office space in Dartmouth Crossing showcases how office design can impact workplace performance and communication. “From addressing visual and acoustic privacy issues to providing multiple spaces from which employees work, our new space demonstrates how office spaces need to support how people wish to work,” says Hickey.

Visit the e3 showroom at 130 John Savage Avenue in Dartmouth Crossing or find more information at:

< Back to Articles | Topics: Member Profile

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