How modern, flexible space helps Deanna connect with her clients.

A new workplace shows physical and organizational growth, but once construction is over and your people are moved in, what do they really think? No two employees are the same and though surveys and studies paint a nice overview, there’s no substitute for direct feedback.

From executives to accountants and the concierge, we’re talking to JLLers who work in our redesigned office to see how the space really works. Join us as we discover how employee experience can differ in the very same space, which workplace features meet which needs—and how to help when they don’t.

Meet Deanna Becker, Integrated Portfolio Services broker.

What’s your role and where do you work within JLL’s headquarters?

I’m a broker on one of the Integrated Portfolio Services teams. My focus is account and portfolio management for corporate clients. I oversee their accounts (including hundreds of locations in some cases) to make sure they’re efficiently using their space and getting the most bang for their buck.

I’ve been in this role for just over a year, and I moved to the 45th floor during the fall of 2016.

What’s your favorite feature of the redesign?

I’m really happy we added more conferencing and huddle space. I think anywhere that you can go to get work done that’s not at your desk is a good add. Especially because my teammates and I are always making calls.

My role is national and a lot of my clients aren’t in Chicago, which means I’m on the phone a lot. If I’m not talking to clients, I’m cold calling for business development. And that’s not a great task to do at your desk. 1) It’s loud and 2) people hang up on you! Now that we have more space, my calls are quiet, private and much less embarrassing when things don’t go as well as planned. I think I can speak for a lot of our brokers when I say the phone rooms are a must-have that we didn’t even realize we were missing before.

Has the new space changed the way you work?

It’s definitely improved the culture and made my colleagues and I feel more like a team. I work with eight other brokers, and our desks were more separated before the move. We sat near each other, but the cubicles weren’t conducive to regular interaction. Now we’re all in this pod together. It’s a nice way to work, and easier to collaborate.

Any difficulties you’ve experienced or observed? How are they being addressed?

I’ve had to challenge myself to use the flexible work space and get away from my desk a little bit more. When you’re on the phone 75% of the day, you really can’t stay in one spot and talk over four other people. It used to be that every single conference room was booked so we endured the noise. Now, options are actually available, and I’m getting the hang of using them the way they’re intended.

Lastly, tell us a quick story from your first weeks getting situated.

The redesign has really elevated our image to clients. A few weeks ago my team brought a potential client from the tech industry in for a meeting. They hadn’t seen the space and wanted a tour before we sat down. They were impressed with how open it was, and surprised by the two-story Club space.

Our industry tends to be pretty traditional when it comes to workplace design, so I’m proud to say that JLL isn’t. The new headquarters really doesn’t look like your standard corporate space. We’ve gotten great feedback about it, from companies across industries. My team works largely with clients that are on the cutting edge and technology-focused, and it’s nice to have this more modern, innovative space to show we’re right there with them.

Interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Hear more employee stories:

Mary – the program manager

Eddy – the traveling executive

Jose – the receptionist

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About the author


About the author

JLL Staff Reporter, Behind-the-scenes
A team passionate about delivering valuable content and tools about workplace to help you deliver the best experience to your employees.

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