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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 09:03 PM Thread Starter

 
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Need cool office ideas / help.

Opening an insurance office soon. Looking for some dialogue concerning cool office features, cool things to do / to add. What have you guys seen...if you had the chance, what would you put in.

Stats: 1,600 square feet, larger than your standard insurance office (1,250 SF), will have at least 3 employee desks and an agents office, maybe 4 desks + agents office.

Want to really make this place stand out, have something for people to talk about, but still maintain a professional appearance.

Any ideas?

For reference, I'm looking at a second space. It's 1,850 square feet and 20 foot ceilings, if I pick up this space I'm putting in a free throw basketball court area, huge logo plastered on the floor, hoop on the wall. Something you wouldn't find in a normal office, but with all our sports advertising would totally fit. This space however is my 2nd option...referring to the 1st option, how can I make that space cool/classy?

It's going to have lots of crown moulding, an LCD TV at each desk running a powerpoint presentation, 1 TV in the waiting area running CNN or the like, walnut color stained wood furniture and mouldings, etc. but now I need something that gives me WOW.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 09:04 PM
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 09:05 PM Thread Starter

 
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stripper pole
Great idea, but can I make that look classy...lol.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 09:07 PM
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Shark tank.

Or just a fancy salt water tank.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 09:10 PM
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Ive never been to my agents office and havent talked to him in years
something I should be considering?

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 09:11 PM
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Great idea, but can I make that look classy...lol.
Brass is always classy




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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 09:12 PM
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Most importantly you need to hire her as your receptionist.






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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 09:14 PM Thread Starter

 
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Shark tank.

Or just a fancy salt water tank.
Thought about it, but high maintenance on salt water tank + the fact that I feel like fish are imprisoned in tanks would keep me away. lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2weelpilot View Post
Ive never been to my agents office and havent talked to him in years
something I should be considering?
Some people talk to their agents / stop in the office at least once a month, some every few months, some like you never. When you have thousands of customers, you get a bit of each category. How's your life insurance? Might want to consider stopping in and talking to them about that.

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Brass is always classy
Mmmmmhhhhmmmmm...specially circa late 1980's / early 1990's.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 09:15 PM Thread Starter

 
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Most importantly you need to hire her as your receptionist.

Can't, apparently I'll have trouble getting work done.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 09:19 PM
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Can't, apparently I'll have trouble getting work done.
Just sit back and let her do all the work...

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 09:33 PM
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My old employer was awesome for this kind of thing. There's a 20' rocket hanging from the ceiling in the lobby (the logo is sort of atomic-looking), there's an air hockey table, a ping pong table, and a pool table scattered throughout the office, besides the motorcycles parked everywhere. There's a bar for social gatherings, and a client-free lounge with modern and vintage video games. Most of the fixtures are modern, made of wood or concrete or metal. Neutral paint scheme besides one open two story interior cinder block wall, which is painted bright red and has a giant Mega-Man mural done in 4" tiles. Flooring is a mix of carpet, tile, and in some places etched and stained concrete. Whole office is about 20,000 sq.ft. on the ground floor, not including areas with a second floor (it's a converted light industrial building.) I couldn't find a shot of Mr. Buns, the 5' tall fiberglass hot dog in a bun with a face and chalkboard, but here's some other pics.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 10:04 PM
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Need cool office ideas / help.

Save the money. Lower your rates. Should be out selling anyways. That little gecko is always moving.

Jordan
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 10:38 PM
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^^^^ Hang a simple sign inside:


"This Office intentionally left blank


(so I could provide you with the lowest rates possible)"

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2weelpilot View Post
Ive never been to my agents office and havent talked to him in years
+1. i'm really not even sure where my agent's office is without having to look up the address. lol.

save your money, man.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 01:17 AM Thread Starter

 
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My old employer was awesome for this kind of thing. There's a 20' rocket hanging from the ceiling in the lobby (the logo is sort of atomic-looking), there's an air hockey table, a ping pong table, and a pool table scattered throughout the office, besides the motorcycles parked everywhere. There's a bar for social gatherings, and a client-free lounge with modern and vintage video games. Most of the fixtures are modern, made of wood or concrete or metal. Neutral paint scheme besides one open two story interior cinder block wall, which is painted bright red and has a giant Mega-Man mural done in 4" tiles. Flooring is a mix of carpet, tile, and in some places etched and stained concrete. Whole office is about 20,000 sq.ft. on the ground floor, not including areas with a second floor (it's a converted light industrial building.) I couldn't find a shot of Mr. Buns, the 5' tall fiberglass hot dog in a bun with a face and chalkboard, but here's some other pics.
Looks like a sweet place to work. What'd you guys do?

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Originally Posted by Loki047 View Post
Save the money. Lower your rates. Should be out selling anyways. That little gecko is always moving.
Appreciate the input. Company rates are fully independent of me. I have no control over that, thus...whether its a blank office or tiled in gold...rates are the same. Regarding the selling. I go by the thought of: you look good, you feel good, you play good. There's a reason why places like Google are more than cubicles and why they're successful. Similar principle to me. I do everything a little overboard...and my office will follow that. It's just the way I am.

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^^^^ Hang a simple sign inside:


"This Office intentionally left blank


(so I could provide you with the lowest rates possible)"
That's funny.

Quote:
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+1. i'm really not even sure where my agent's office is without having to look up the address. lol.

save your money, man.
Actually...it's not my money. Owner offering a lot of $$ in build-out. I intend to utilize all of it as its use it or lose it. Additionally, as stated above, some people work out of home, some people work out of typical offices, and some people work out of great places like the pictures posted above...to each his own, and I tend to do things a little overboard. Just the way I am...so I definitely don't want the typical office. Why be boring if you don't have to be? Plus, though MANY people never see their agents offices...I'm going to spend a lot of time there, and so will my staff, so I'm building this not only for the clients appeal, but also for me/staff.
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 01:27 AM
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I go by the thought of: you look good, you feel good, you play good. There's a reason why places like Google are more than cubicles and why they're successful. Similar principle to me. I do everything a little overboard...and my office will follow that. It's just the way I am.
Just so you are not kidding yourself here...

They paid their dues to get to that point. The pretty office does not come first.
The culture inside the office comes first, then the right people and the hard work and when you reach a certain milestone the fluff comes at that point.

Obviously, it's your place... and if someone's willing to throw $$ your direction to help, great.

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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 02:50 AM
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Let ppl bring their dogs to work. I keep looking for a place to work like that.

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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 07:19 AM
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Let ppl bring their dogs to work. I keep looking for a place to work like that.
It's called a kennel.

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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 07:20 AM
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Oh yeah, ideas...

How about a massage table in back. That would make the customers happy.

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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki047 View Post
Save the money. Lower your rates. Should be out selling anyways. That little gecko is always moving.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch View Post
^^^^ Hang a simple sign inside:


"This Office intentionally left blank


(so I could provide you with the lowest rates possible)"
Quote:
Originally Posted by cailin View Post
+1. i'm really not even sure where my agent's office is without having to look up the address. lol.

save your money, man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch View Post
Just so you are not kidding yourself here...

They paid their dues to get to that point. The pretty office does not come first.
The culture inside the office comes first, then the right people and the hard work and when you reach a certain milestone the fluff comes at that point.

Obviously, it's your place... and if someone's willing to throw $$ your direction to help, great.
+1

Setting a comfortable, non cluttered, environment for your clients and employees is one thing. But an appearance that employees have too much "luxury" or are spending time "playing" instead of working may cause your clients feel like the rates you are charging them could be lower if you managed your money better. Just my 2 cents.

Greg

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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolishPete View Post

There's a reason why places like Google are more than cubicles and why they're successful.

Actually...it's not my money. Owner offering a lot of $$ in build-out.
A) Google creates products and generates ideas. You're selling insurance (I am in sales so don't think im putting that down) and that is not the same. Whatever equation exists that allows Google to create and prosper like they do is a mystery and I think they will do whatever they can do to keep that.

B) Dont use it and negotiate a lower rent. - cause in the end your paying it
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 08:39 AM
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+1

But an appearance that employees have too much "luxury" or are spending time "playing" instead of working may cause your clients feel like the rates you are charging them could be lower if you managed your money better. Just my 2 cents.
Same reason customers dont like it when you show up with a new car, fancy watch. Its a fine line of look successful and not look like your pillaging.

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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 08:43 AM
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Let ppl bring their dogs to work. I keep looking for a place to work like that.
Amazon

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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 12:10 PM
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It's a design firm, so the interesting environment was looked at as a good thing.

FWIW the pool table was a gift from a client, and there's pretty clear rules about not goofing off during work hours. Not just because of billable time, but because it's disruptive to other people who are working. However, it's a nice perk since there were often times long hours, and after work social stuff helps the team bond.

The office is not downtown where all the other ad agencies and design firms are located, so the rent was cheap, until the owners had expanded so much (they started out with one 5,000 sqft unit, and acquired adjacent units over the 20 years they've been there) that they just bought the whole building. Parking is free. The #1 complaint about the space is that there are no windows. Winter was sometimes challenging when the only time you'd see sunlight was if you went out for lunch.

I don't know that having that sort of environment is necessary for an insurance office, or for other professional offices, but I will say that it makes going to work everyday more pleasant. I loved that job. A lot. It was a very vibrant and creative place to work.

I also love my current job, but when I have to spend time in the office (I work from home mostly) it's such a downer to go to a dingy office building with boring, ancient, cubicles. It's a non-profit org though, so spending money on fancy office space isn't really the best use of funds. Fortunately there are windows, and the building is on really beautiful grounds.

Edit: Forgot to mention that I left the old job for the new one, because I saw it as an excellent opportunity, and good for my career, so even the coolest office space ever didn't help retention in my case, although on average, my former employer's retention rate for employees is way higher than most others in the industry. The "cool office for tech" trend in the 90's started in part to help retention rates in a highly competitive and growing field... I like to think my former employers continue to do it because they're really good guys and care about the comfort and happiness of their employees.

Another space I would love to work in: the SRAM headquarters in Chicago. Super cool place.

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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 01:08 PM Thread Starter

 
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Thanks for all the input.

I agree, there's a fine line between beeing too fancy and clients thinking they're paying their bills to support your fanciness.

However, my point isn't to add pool tables and expensive art into the place. It's to make something cool/different. I LOVE how salt water tanks look, and would love to have one in the office, but I'm not ready for that commitment of time/$ that it takes to properly upkeep. Now if I had a SW tank...I don't think clients would be upset by that.

For me...the office HAS to be more than an office. It's my style. Might be hard to dictate through the computer/online...but people who know me personally wouldn't expect anything less than something special from me. Just the way I am. Figured I'd toss this thread out there because maybe someone had something cool that I didn't think about. Doesn't hurt to look for idea.

Again, not looking to over-elegance this place, just trying to differentiate myself from every other office that looks exactly the same.
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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 01:14 PM
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for sure you need the dogs playing poker picture on the wall. Nothing adds a touch a class like that.

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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 01:16 PM
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Also this one:



with the caption: "Hey, one foot on the ground for all shots!"

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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 01:19 PM Thread Starter

 
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for sure you need the dogs playing poker picture on the wall. Nothing adds a touch a class like that.
Haha...actually, my g/f has been looking for a nice dogs playing poker picture for the house...she love it!

Quote:
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Also this one:



with the caption: "Hey, one foot on the ground for all shots!"
Sweet pic. Though, seems like I difficult shot enough, I'll let the dog pass on the one foot on the ground.
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 01:20 PM
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A couple ideas for you.

Neat Light Fixtures. Class it up a bit with something glass and steel.

Ceiling Cloud - A hanging *something* over the desks/cubes. This can be an acoustic panel to help keep the office from sounding too noisy, to neat light fixtures, wood frame (with lights), glass/steel/LED structure with lights.

Acoustic panels on the walls. Just simple wood frames with acoustic insulation, and a nice fabric on the outside done in some abstract pattern on a reflective/main wall. Adds some color and interest to the office while lowering the overall noise level.

Have a coffee bar with a granite top, nice light fixtures, and awesome looking/functioning coffee maker.

Paint the office with more modern colors. Blues and warm orange, burnt red and beige. At least have an accent wall!

I'll see if I can google up some photos of what I'm talking about.

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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 01:29 PM
I wok!
 
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: fuckoff
Posts: 3,079
Location: fuckoff
Sportbike: 2006 felt f65 and a 07 STI
Years Riding: 5 years
How you found us: wtf is this shit...
           
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