Create Productive Office Space
Turn your brokerage into a stimulating work environment for your agents and employees by giving them what they need.
December 5, 2014
A brokerage office serves many purposes—meeting place, showcase for your brand, central document repository. But it also should be a place where agents can be at their most productive. Finding and designing a space with that in mind takes thought, says Michael Natale of Denver, a LEED accredited architect. Here are some ideas:
Individual work spaces should take into account people’s job function and their work style, Natale says. “Some people work better with activity around them, and some people need to be able to close a door.”
Conference spaces should be able to accommodate your team comfortably. If your company is growing, take that into account.
Entrances and public spaces should accommodate disabled or physically challenged individuals (a requirement if you have 15 or more employees).
Security considerations are paramount. Many agents don’t work 9-to-5 hours and may be entering a leaving the office at night. Does your parking lot have a secure perimeter? How well is it lit? Natale suggests “an emergency call box or two to lend your workers a feeling of safety and security.”
There are other ways to create a welcoming environment and encourage peak performance:
- Individual climate controls.
- Privacy room for mothers who are breastfeeding.
- Workspace for children to do homework after school.
- A shower for agents and employees who bike to the office or exercise during the day.
- Ample places to hang coats.
- A charging station for mobile devices.
- Such extras show you’re thinking about workers’ comfort, Natale says, and they can make a big difference in people’s attitudes.
Time is money. If you’re considering a new location, there’s a whole other set of considerations: How far is the building from where your staff and professionals live? Is there ample and easily accessible parking? If the office is not on the ground floor, is there an elevator? What’s the elevator capacity and wait time? Is your office in a suburb or the city? Is it an historic building, brand new, or an industrial renovation—and how does that fit with your brand?
“These things all combine in major and minor ways to affect a person’s like or dislike of an office space and potentially affect their productivity,” Natale says.