For some businesses, requiring employees to be in the office 40 hours a week may no longer be in the equation in the new world of work.
But for Fee Insurance Group’s Tyler Fee, having a top-quality space for employees to work from — when they are in the office — still carries significant importance.
Fee said that is what his team has in its new Wichita office at the Waterfront, where it is settling in after a spring move.
“We want anyone who works here to be very, very proud,” said Fee, executive vice president for the fourth-generation insurance agency.
Fee said the firm “loved” its previous location in the Capitol Federal building at Wilson Estates Office Park, but needed more space.
It has that in 4,500 square feet — around double its previous space — in suite 250 of the Hinkle Law Building at 1617 N. Waterfront Parkway.
The new office features open work areas and individual offices, two conference rooms, unique lightning and large windows with views of other Waterfront businesses.
TGC Construction served as general contractor, and Kim McDonald led the design efforts to get the location ready for Fee Insurance’s move.
The office is set for new artwork and some finishing touches to the windows, but overall, Fee called the construction process flawless during a time when many have dealt with supply chain issues.
Last year, Patrick Ahern of NAI Martens, alongside Ryan Hubbard, represented the landlord on the lease for the space, while Zach Zerbe of Landmark Commercial Real Estate represented Fee Insurance Group.
Fee said employee input took a key role as the firm looked at new location options throughout the city. Conducting that search during a pandemic, which had most office users re-evaluating square footage needs and what the office of the future should look like, added new considerations, he said.
Most of Fee Insurance’s 12 employees in the Wichita area now work from home 1-2 days a week and come into the office on the other workdays, Fee said.
“We’re all about flexibility and enhancing the lives of our teammates,” he said.
But for Fee, whose Hutchinson-based family business has been around since 1883 and also has locations in McPherson and Dodge City, the office is still an important place to build culture.
And he said he hopes the company’s move to the Waterfront makes a statement internally and to Wichita.
“I think this area is special,” Fee said. “We wanted to show our employees, customers and potential customers that we are committed to this city.”