As rental rates peaked and uncertainty entered the market, leasing new space became a less viable option, particularly given the real opportunity to densify in our existing space. The original configuration of our office provided for a generous 240+ s.f. per person. At the time, the project team had also developed alternate floor plans that could achieve a density of somewhere between 180-190 s.f. per person. It was time to consider putting into practice what we preach to our clients.
Why ponder quietly when we had a bevy of experts at our disposal? So, we “leaned in” and built a project team of operations, brokerage, project management and workplace strategies professionals to debate, discuss and determine our best course of action.
Recognizing that if we wanted buy-in and acceptance our employees had to be involved in the process, we set out to create a momentum building campaign, driven by earnest information sharing. Part of that process included branding the exercise with a moniker that piqued curiosity, translated into a positive message and didn’t feel contrived. We called it Project Catbird.
We knew employee feedback would be critical to our success and help drive change management further into the process. We organized focus groups representing 20% of our Commented employee population across our businesses. The key themes of that exercise became the drivers of the design process that would ultimately revitalize our workspace.
Synthesizing the economic and operational realities of the business challenge with the loud voice of our employees became a design challenge that would impact the initiative’s broader success. The translation of the feedback into physical and service-based solutions resulted in a far more functional work environment.
The goal for JLL’s new New York office environment was to deliver a workplace
that met the needs expressed by a diverse workforce, while accommodating headcount growth
and achieving a higher level of functionality. Reasonable enough, but consider the challenges:
JLL reconfigured and infused function into floors they actively occupied at 330 Madison Avenue
Employees had spoken and they had needs; needs that would enhance productivity—a win-win that required patience.
We did a complete restack, reorganizing business lines and shuffling employees across six 33,000 square-foot floor plates with minimal disruption.
It wasn’t possible to predict all the thoughts, ideas and challenges that would come up while creating a functional and engaging workspace. It is however fun to share; so for your education and enjoyment, check out some of our favorite Aha! moments.
It seems our people had been struggling to find a quiet place to converse with clients or even hear themselves think. Message received. Private spaces, functional pod furniture, acoustic treatments, white noise adjustments and a quiet room would help silence all the noise.
100 more seats means 100 more bodies. Could the HVAC handle it? A study of the system indicated balancing as opposed to supplemental units based on the temperature of the air the building was able to provide. A huge range from a budget standpoint, but an important element to the comfort delivered for employees.
Did you know that energy codes are ever evolving and compliance is a point in time kind of thing? An extensive study was done to determine whether the changes proposed for our space would trigger the need for the entire space to comply with new codes. Thankfully for our project, it did not and we avoided a sizable budget impact—but it could have happened. Something to think about.
When vending machines turn up empty on the regular, the last thing you would expect is a universal desire for healthier snacks. We get it—and applaud it! A broader selection of smart snack choices, fresh fruit, oatmeal and beverages with less sugar took over.