Evolution: You Just Can’t Fake It

Last year, after visiting CBRE’s Headquarters in Los Angeles, I wrote a post for my former blog, NeuerSpace, with this same title. In that post, I discussed all of the great features in the new office, the melding of technology and workspace, and came to the conclusion that the sooner I could move out of my office and into a more collaborative environment, the better.

Due to some construction work in our office, that happened this week. My three-person team has been working out of the large conference room and so far, the reviews are mixed.

Making calls has been a little tough, adjusting to using the speakerphone less, and technology issues have all caused some growing pains as we figure out how to co-exist in a small space. While one of my partners was on a conference call yesterday, I actually sat in our reception area so I could make another call without disruption.

That said, information gets shared exponentially faster between us. We are able to collaborate on documents and emails without leaving our seats and the barriers created by office doors, whether opened or closed, are gone.

What I have learned from this experience is that you simply can’t fake it. You either have to go all of the way, or stay in an older workplace environment.

What does all of the way mean? It means investing in the right technology, furniture systems and office layout to promote an efficient workplace. Huddle rooms, phone rooms, and conference rooms are all at a premium when you decrease the amount of personal space in any office. The ability to access files from anywhere, either in the office or out, is a MUST.

I am embarrassed to say that I still use a desktop computer in the office. You can add that to the list of things I look forward to getting rid of when we move in to our new office, hopefully sometime in 2015. I am confident that as CBRE continues to roll out our “Workplace 360” model throughout the country, the East Brunswick office will be the beneficiary of lessons learned from other offices, as well as a gaggle of new tools to make us more efficient.