• JLL's six floor upgrade will take 18 months and affect 1,500 employees.
  • More "huddle rooms" are being implemented within large real estate offices.
  • Large firms appear aware that they might be turning into impersonal places to work.

Its been suggested by some brokers that working for a 100 broker-plus real estate agency can be an impersonal experience.

Larger agencies are taking notice of this sentiment and investing significant capital in office renovations aimed at increasing employee collaboration in a more flexible space.

At Chicago’s Aon Center, Jones Lang LaSalle recently completed the two-floor, first phase of a six-floor office upgrade that when completed in spring 2017 will cover more than 200,000 square feet.

“The one-size-fits-all (office) model is no longer relevant,” said Ed Nolan, SVP for workplace strategy at JLL.

The two, newly re-imagined floors recently upgraded by JLL are said to be designed with more flexibility and collaboration in mind than other open-plan offices.

Its “studios” feature adjustable-height desks with sound-absorbing privacy panels that move up and down with the desktop. Additionally, every desk is equipped with a monitor that raises and lowers.

All major pieces of furniture within the space are on casters so employees can shape their workspace.

JLL has also increased the supply of reservation-based huddle rooms, as they estimate more than 80 percent of meetings involve two to four people. These huddle rooms are equipped with smart whiteboards and dual monitors so colleagues in different locations can collaborate and view web-based content simultaneously.

Large brokerages upgrading their digs is nothing new, as in late 2014 CBRE brought its global “Workplace360” initiative to Chicago with the opening of a new 61,000-square-foot office space in River North.

The new office included no assigned seating, private and collaborative workspaces, and also focused on more huddle rooms. The 18-month change management process involved 300 employees.

Another year of upgrades

According to JLL’s public relations department, two more floors in the Aon Center are currently in a “swing space” and will open later this year as part of the second phase.

Following phase one completion roughly 500 employees moved into the upgraded space on March 21. When completed the six renovated floor will house a total of 1,500 JLL employees.

The firm determined what office upgrades to include in the project by conducting surveys and focus groups. Seat senor data was also utilized to determine how long employees are away from their desks.

Erik Pisor

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
We're giving away 3 free ICLV tickets at Connect Now next week. Register and attend live for your chance to win!REGISTER×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription