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Give 'Em Space

A well-designed work space, that is. After all, it could make a huge difference in the way your sales team performs.

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This story appears in the January 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In the seminal workplace comedy Office Space, the embittered and embattled Milton loses his tenuous grasp on workplace reality when his boss takes away his prized red Swingline stapler and insists on continually moving his cubicle. Milton, regarding the egregious and frequent resettling, says: "I don't care if they lay me off either, because . . . if he moves my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit . . . because they've moved my desk four times. I used to be by the window, where I could see the squirrels, and they were merry."

Are you harboring any latent Miltons in your sales force? One way to foster happiness in your sales staff is to provide optimal work space for your team. A good office layout goes beyond desks and chairs-you need to consider noise/interruption control, creature comforts and lighting. By placing a premium on the aesthetic environment, you can expect to see "an immediate boost in energy, productivity and well-being-necessary factors for any sales environment and the ultimate investment in your organization's overall success," says Zhanna Drogobetsky, president of Italian Design, an interior furnishings company in Brookline, Massachusetts, that helps companies configure office space. Here are some variables to consider when designing a primo sales office configuration:

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