Office Ping Pong

by Clint Copulos

What do you get when you put a ping pong table in the middle of a real estate office?

Think King Kong vs Godzilla or Superman vs Batman. The Type A, competitive personalities show up, and they show up in a big way. I’m talking rivalries, smack talk, mental domination, cheat paddles, and grudge matches, and I’m not just talking about grudge matches that last for a few days or even a few weeks. I’m talking about grudge matches that have lasted since our ping pong table was installed, just about a year ago. Now some of these rivalries date far before the ping pong table was introduced, and to understand what I’m talking about, all you need to know is that our competitive juices led our Asset Management group to a push-up competition. Real estate competition just wasn’t enough for us.  We had to create physical competition as well.

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The purpose of this post? Well, everyone hears how difficult a task it is to recruit and retain top talent. When you’re seeking in-demand skill sets, a company needs to differentiate itself from the pack. Not only is this done by focusing on company culture, but it is also the perks you offer. Whether it’s ping pong, putting greens, casual dress, free lunch, etc., people love perks, and sometimes it’s the perks that help create the collaborative, work family you are looking for.

At KBS, I can personally attest to the positive impact ping pong has had in our office. New relationships have been formed. Current work-only relationships have evolved and become personal. Communication between departments has become more fluid, or in some situations, communication exists where it didn’t previously. It’s had such a positive impact on my work experience, I’ve started buying ping pong tables for every spec suite I build. Not only is it great for marketing, but it’s a great perk for companies to enjoy after they’ve moved in.

Does your company have perks that truly impact morale and stimulate collaboration? If you don’t, I strongly recommend it. Think about what could work in your office and act on it today.

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Clint Copulos is a vice president and asset manager for KBS. He is responsible for the asset management of numerous KBS investments located in Portland, Oregon, and Sacramento, California, in addition to acquisition and disposition activities. Mr. Copulos oversees a portfolio size of approximately 1 million square feet of office space.