HR Strange But True!
April 12, 2007

When it comes to office space, many companies would probably settle for a prime location and clean, modern facilities. But other firms can be much more particular.

Take, for example, the music company that requested diamond-studded toilet seats to accommodate a particularly demanding diva. Or a Feng Shui-obsessed doctor who asked for an office with all windows and doors facing east. Or the company that said it would only take office space in a building with attractive receptionists.

Those are just a few of the strange requests made of, an online broker of commercial space in the United Kingdom and, more recently, in this country.

"We will always go out of our way to try and meet clients' needs and, because our property portfolio is so extensive, we are almost always able to oblige," said cofounder Jim Venables. "However, as far as the request for attractive receptionists was concerned we did have to point out to our client that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it was not really for us to judge whether personnel were deemed attractive or not!"

Other unusual demands made by the company's clients include:

  • A London-based company that asked for an office with its own bomb shelter capable of withstanding any terrorist attack, including nuclear or germ warfare
  • A pregnant doctor who asked for space for a built-in baby scanner
  • Numerous requests for offices with space to accommodate employees' pets -- including one client who asked for a built-in tank to house his large collection of piranhas
  • A colonic irrigation company which needed additional space for "waste" storage
  • A high-maintenance doctor who asked for her office to be fitted with a personal spray tan booth
  • A rural office that needed be at least a mile from the nearest farm so that staff would not be distracted by "country smells"
  • An office room with just six bar stools inside -- nothing else. The company then wanted employees to sit on the stools and look at images projected on a wall
  • An IT company that insisted that there were to be no bars or other outlets selling alcohol within walking distance of the office

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