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May 22, 2019
This paid piece is sponsored by Interstate Office Products.
It’s understandable if you have a little office envy after seeing the space dozens of bank employees moved into this month.
But first, Plains Commerce Bank needed to find the right building to house its growing team.
“You don’t want to ever buy or lease more space than you need, but you also need enough room to grow,” said Chris Vinson, executive vice president of mortgage.
They thought they might have found the spot, but after bringing in Interstate Office Products, they knew it wasn’t going to work.
“We did some layouts and test fits, and they decided the space wouldn’t work for them, and then they found another building, and we did additional layouts and test fits, and they decided it was the space they wanted to go into,” said Teena Hogan, IOP’s interior designer and account manager on the project.
The approximately 8,000-square-foot building at 4410 S. Technology Drive is now the home of Windsor Mortgage Solutions, a new Plains Commerce division offering expanded mortgage services. It’s staffed by 51 people.
“I feel like Interstate was really up on the trends and what employees are wanting in a work space and a work environment, and I didn’t know those things,” Vinson said. “I know mortgage, and I really felt like knowing not only what’s new but what works and is feasible is where Interstate really adds value.”
Interstate helped Plains Commerce choose height-adjustable desks for all the individual offices and a mix of height-adjustable and more traditional desks in the work stations so employees could try them out if interested.
“I think the height-adjustable increases employees’ energy,” Vinson said. “When you’re sitting on the phone versus standing, there’s a noticeable difference. I’ve noticed it myself, so when I’m making calls, I try to stand. If I feel sluggish during the day and stand a short bit, my energy is back, and I feel better.”
Interstate also delivered a desk configuration Vinson said made a lot of sense.
“I love the way the desks are designed with a cut-out in the middle,” he said. “I feel like it connects you closer to the monitor, whether you’re sitting or standing, but it gives you enough space for your workload and the files you need.”
The team then added lockers for employees to store personal items such as their lunch, coat or extra shoes.
“I don’t like clutter. I like nice, clean work spaces, and I feel like the more organized an employee is the more productive the employee is,” Vinson said. “The lockers were a solution Interstate came up with, and it works great.”
Multiple gathering areas were added on the walk-out level, including a kitchen.
“Culture is a big deal for us,” Vinson said. “The kitchen is our huddle area, and we wanted a more restaurant-style area for employees to get a break, get lunch, go work there if they wanted but get away from their current environment and change it up.”
To achieve that, Interstate suggested a variety of seating areas that includes pub-height tables, stools around a central island and open collaborative booths.
“They can fit all their people down there, so they can go meet quick to go over things and go about their day or use it as a secondary work space to give their employees a choice of where they work,” Hogan said.
A large conference room also is designed with multiple power and technology options.
And a smaller collaborative space allows employees to train via video conferencing or to hold virtual meetings.
“That table makes it super easy for multiple laptops to connect,” Vinson said. “In today’s world, it’s all about connecting, and a big part of our business is video conferencing, so to have a video room where a team is ready to go and help the customer was super important.”
They will build out a video production area with a green screen, professional lighting and sound to produce video content for customers.
“They wanted a look that was cool and modern, functional but not super high end, and I definitely think that was achieved,” Hogan said.
Employees couldn’t wait to move in and start working, Vinson added.
“When you work with a company like Interstate, they design it in a way that improves your culture. It feels like it’s easier to recruit employees and keep the ones you have. For a business like ours, that is a golden nugget.”
To learn more about how Interstate Office Products can meet your office needs, visit i-o-p.com or call 605-339-0300.
“They design it in a way that improves your culture. It feels like it’s easier to recruit employees and keep the ones you have.” Step inside the new mortgage office for Plains Commerce Bank and see what a difference the right space can make!