If you live in a doorman building, you probably start thinking about your annual gift for the doorman a few weeks before the holidays are upon you. And while everyone loves a few extra bucks in their wallet, there are other ways you can make your doorman happy – and not just at the holidays.

Imagine standing at a podium for hours on end where there’s little or no heat in the winter, little or no ventilation in the summer, lots of people asking you to do things for them such as hailing cabs or welcoming their guests. Not to mention having to deal with mountains of e-commerce deliveries, dry cleaning, and groceries every day.

It’s a wonder your doorman can be as cheery as he is.

Want to do something that will make your doorman happy beyond an envelope filled with cash? Here’s something to consider: today there is a myriad of innovative ways you can have his doorman desk updated to make which allows him to work more efficiently and be more comfortable.

I’m a residential building lobby interior designer in New York City. When my firm begins a new lobby renovation project, one of the first jobs we tackle is the doorman desk. I’m proud to say we’ve have become very adept at creating innovative ways to improve this area, and there is a multitude of tools in our toolbox that makes it happen.

6 Ways to Improve Your Building’s Doorman Desk & Make Your Doorman Happy

1. Change Its Location

You may not realize how many times a day your doorman must leave his desk – often to retrieve packages. It’s hard on him and not safe because your lobby is unattended when he steps away. The doorman desk should be easily accessible to all the areas he’s responsible for.

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For example, if part of his job is to greet visitors at the door, his desk should be right near the entryway. “Duh.” you may say. But you may be surprised how doorman desks are positioned at the rear of the lobby.

2. Solve The Overwhelming Package Problem

Receiving, storing, and retrieving packages, is a major headache for your doorman today, mainly if you live in an older building. If he has to go down a hall and around a corner to retrieve a package, he’s not at his desk and hasn’t a clue who is coming in the door. (It takes only a split-second for a bad guy to sneak in, right?)

We perform some pretty amazing problem-solving in this area, I must admit. One way is by carving out storage rooms where none existed before (even in older buildings. And creating cabinets and closets positioned where the doorman doesn’t have even to leave the desk to access all the stuff he’s in charge of. This is one area where having a keen understanding of building construction comes in handy.

3. Provide A Place for Everything

Think of all the tasks your doorman has to perform every day: sign for mail and packages, hold keys for tenants, receive dry cleaning, rescue orphaned mittens, etc. He needs a place to store everything he needs, and you want a clean-looking, uncluttered desk when he greets your guests. And it makes your doorman happy when he doesn’t have to shuffle around to find an item for a person who’s in a hurry.

Drawers, vertical envelope cubbies, and cabinet space with shelving are some of the doorman desk features we install. With a clutter-free desk and a place for everything, your doorman’s stress level goes way down. (Note: we also install under-counter lighting because a little bit of light makes a big difference).

4. Give Him A Clear View Of Everything

Your doorman is not just the keeper of the front door of your building, he’s responsible for everything that goes on in the lobby. We position doorman desks so with a clear view of the entire lobby, including the entryway. The result is a safer and more efficiently-run building.

5. Provide Enough Space for New Technology

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Our clients demand the most up-to-date building management technology. However, it takes up a lot of space. You need a doorman desk large enough to accommodate it and still have enough surface space left open for him to do his job.

6. Don’t Force Him To Freeze In The Winter & Sweat In The Summer

Let’s face it – When a doorman is miserable, it shows. We think your doorman deserves to be as comfortable in the lobby as you are upstairs in your apartment. This requires vents to supply heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. You’ll make your doorman happy. And it’s so much nicer than having your guests be greeted by tacky fans and space heaters when they walk into the building.

So, this year give your doorman the gift that will make him more comfortable and his job less stressful – a redesigned doorman desk! (Sorry, this won’t replace your annual cash gift.)

Note: If your building has a doorwoman – she deserves to be happy, too!

Sygrove Interior Design Services

Sygrove Associates Design Group is an NYC interior design company. Our company’s founder Marilyn Sygrove is the lead interior designer on all projects. And she’s as tough as you are when it comes to quality, aesthetics, and coming in on time and on budget.

It all starts with a design consultation with Marilyn. She takes the time to thoroughly understand your design needs then personally directs all interior design, planning, and installation activities. Her work has been delighting clients, co-op and condo boards, and homeowners for over 30 years.

You can reach Marilyn by email at hello@sygrove.com or call her directly at 212.757.0631.

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