CBRE employees pleased with Workplace 360

October 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Business Process Automation | Document and Information Capture

Employees at one real estate company that recently switched to a paperless office are pleased with the change. 

CBRE, a commercial real estate company, launched Workplace 360 last year in Los Angeles,  and it has proven popular among employees, according to The new design seeks to change the way offices function through digital document storage systems and wide-open spaces, and was adopted when the company moved into a new office. The office space was designed with an open floor plan and high technological integration. Workplace 360 is so high tech that there is little, if any paper necessary in the office. 

The office space has been so successful that CBRE won a Digie Award earlier this year. The awards, presented by Realcomm, began in 1999. The purpose is to recognize real estate companies that have elevated the industry and have had a positive impact through innovation. CBRE won for the business process automation improvements achieved with the new office space. And that wasn't the only recognition the company received for it's cutting-edge building design.  

The company also received the U.S. Green Building Council's Best of Building award as the "Best Real Estate Services Contractor" for 2014. This award celebrates positive influence on green building. 

CBRE's Los Angeles office has a number of amenities that employees have grown to enjoy. The building features personal lockers, standing work stations, treadmill stations and healthy snacks, 3BL Media explained. The office also features working neighborhoods, where employees can collaborate on projects together. 

CBRE saying goodbye to paper
However one of the more significant moves that CBRE has made with Workplace 360 is it's use of conversion services in order to go totally paperless. Currently the average purge rate for paper files company-wide is around 72 percent.  A number of cities, such as Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles and Honolulu are fairly close to completely removing paper – or have already done so. 

"We threw out 17 full-sized commercial dumpsters of paper to be recycled. We scanned 1.5 million images of documents we felt would be needed at a later date," Joe Cesta, managing director of CBRE's Inland Empire region, said of setting up Workplace 360 in Ontario, according to The Press-Enterprise. "Then, we upgraded it, so the images could be accessible through loud-based servers from the phone, laptop or [tablet]."

Cesta helped transform the Ontario location in order to meet the Workplace 360 specifications, the publication explained. He modeled the transition after offices in Los Angeles and Amsterdam. 

And the employees love it. A survey released by CBRE found that 90 percent of individuals employed at Workplace 360 offices would not go back to the old way of working, noted. Staff at the offices believe that the changes have made them better workers as well. The survey found that 83 percent of employees believe that Workplace 360 has helped boost their productivity, while 94 percent noted that the change has had a positive impact on their business performance.

"What we learned from the survey is that we need to continually invest in keeping technology current for our employees by offering trainings for all of the digital tools," Lew Horne, CBRE's Los Angeles and Orange County president, told "We're already implementing a response to the feedback. We also found that there's a call for more privacy features and therefore we're working with Gensler to add private workstations. What's remarkable about the space is that we've already added 50 employees in the course of a year without having to make any renovations or major changes. The office is flexible. Adding private stations will be one our biggest changes to the space, yet we won't run into nearly the same challenges in implementing the request as we would have in the past."

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