An office move gave employees a bird's-eye view of Columbus.
When CBRE decided to move its Columbus office, employees welcomed some key changes while also demanding a few things stay the same. Formerly at the top floor of 280 North High Street, Managing Director Michael Copella says that he initially felt that the office could be located on any floor. However, Columbus employees were adamant about remaining on top.
“It was harder than you’d believe to get someone to go to a lower floor,” he says. “The group as a whole really wanted to be in a place with a good view of the city.”
Finding another top-floor office makes sense for the real estate services company, since it has a 360-degree view of the city.
“One of the draws was to be around Franklinton and watch it develop,” says Copella. Developers are routinely brought to the office to see these views. One popular corner has floor-to-ceiling windows, a comfy chair and a telescope to give up-close looks at new development in Franklinton.
Positioned around the office are not dedicated desks, but rather neighborhoods with unassigned spots where employees can plug in and work. Copella says this wasn’t a difficult switch for employees, who were excited about the 24 private spaces around the office that facilitate alone time or small meetings. He says neighborhoods have improved efficiency—if something isn’t working, it can be easily changed. But moving paper documents to the cloud proved to be a tough transition for some staff members who have been with CBRE for a long time.
However, Copella says that, of those who touted physical files to the new office, most of them haven’t once looked at the papers. And most people don’t keep physical files at all.
“If you go through the filing cabinet, you’ll see it’s nerf guns, snacks, an extra shirt—there’s no work going on in there,” says Copella.
Some of CBRE’s office touches are nearly unnoticeable—throughout the hallway winding around the floor are putting holes covered by carpet circles to conceal them. Sometimes, employees kill an hour putting. Other office flourishes are meant to be noticed. In the well-used common area just off of reception, there is a large table made from an antique door. Although every staff member has a made-up story about the door—like, it’s the door Rose floated on in the 1997 film, Titanic—Copella says it was purchased in Grandview.
The chandelier hanging above it is meant to mimic the shape of the river below. The white décor makes the views and the colorful furniture pop. And the view from the beloved common space is one of the best in the office.
“We wanted to give the best views to the employees,” says Copella.