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Flight to Quality: The Role of Building Amenities in Your Office’s Success

Posted By Kristin Concannon | Feb 8, 2021 9:00 AM
Flight to Quality: The Role of Building Amenities in Your Office’s Success

We can all think of our favorite office building amenities: the fancy on-site gym that you go to before and after work, the lounge and game rooms that help you unwind during a stressful work day, and even the available snacks and beverages in the office kitchen that you look forward to each day of the week. The best workplace amenities have always been used to differentiate offices, making the physical work environment healthier, engaging, and perhaps a little more fun.

In our current world, the amenities definition is evolving to extend beyond an office building’s four walls. Now, office amenity trends incorporate any combination of physical and digital experiences that connect people to people, as well as people to place. A modern office amenities list may include integrated smart building technologies throughout the building, community forums through a tenant app, digital courses and classes hosted by both on- and off-site facilities, and much, much more.

However, are commercial building amenities really valuable? How can they contribute to the needs of a post-pandemic workforce? Together, let’s explore the ins and outs of building amenities — as well as why they will play a crucial role to the longevity and success of any office portfolio.

Do Commercial Amenities Generate Value?

Even before the rise of hybrid work models, it was well-known that amenities were valuable to tenants and property value. A 2019 Cushman & Wakefield study revealed that before the COVID-19 pandemic, highly amenitized buildings had an 18.3% rent premium compared to the surrounding submarket. This premium proved even more substantial at 21.6% in the central business districts (CBDs) of gateway markets.

In Cushman & Wakefield’s Edge magazine, they suggest that amenities will still serve as key drivers of property values in the future: “Differentiation through amenities will be more vital for landlords and occupiers seeking to create vibrant spaces for employees who now have more options for where and how to work.” This sentiment can resolve market issues discovered in recent JLL data, where 80% of high performers admitted to missing their offices greatly during lockdown due to cultural, productivity, and collaboration needs.

Now more than ever, workplace amenities are being leveraged to redefine the purpose of the physical office. Gensler insights reveal that global Fortune 100 companies believe that people will return back to offices for those very same collaboration and culture purposes: “[the] future office will transform into an environment where the distinction between amenities and workplace is blurred. The concept is based on the assumption that [the] mobile workforce will demand highly-serviced spaces, which are focused on collective decision making when teams come into the office. Under this premise, spaces will need to reconfigure and scale depending on the capacity to stage events for various teams over the course of a day or week.”

This is further supported by a GlobeSt.com interview with Elisa Konik, Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield. “While distributed working is here to stay, many employers still see incredible long-term value in bringing colleagues together in person,” she said. “Employers that can strike a careful balance, appreciating the evolving needs of their workforce, and meeting the moment, will find themselves as the top employers of choice.”

How Technology is Facilitating Modern Office Amenity Trends

In the same ways the commercial real estate industry has evolved the meaning and utilization of the physical office, it has also evolved the ways it interacts with its end-users. The relatively recent adoption of technology to match consumer habits has heightened the need to create smart and engaging spaces where people actually want to work.

This customer-first model can be achieved through digital tenant engagement strategies that activate your building’s existing amenities and also establish new ones — thus bringing office culture directly to tenants wherever they are, and aligning your office strategy with a more modern workforce. These omnichannel office experiences prove to be the best workplace amenities examples: they show tenant appreciation, thereby increasing customer loyalty. Additionally, such tech-enabled features during a time of significant digital growth will also give landlords insight into important data — both in their buildings and at scale — to help them learn more about their building occupants, experience the new value drivers of CRE, and become more responsive to tenant needs by offering the best aspects of both a physical and digital workplace.

From offering virtual fitness classes and hosting building-wide events, to gift raffles that show tenant appreciation, to mobile ordering services that cut down on traffic in public common areas associated with popular on-site food and retail vendors, it all has the same impact on the overall tenant experience: such office amenities ideas can guarantee a healthier, safer workplace while also creating memorable, lasting impressions moving forward. This trend of highly amenitized buildings — also known as flight to quality — is proven to be one of the most effective ways to attract and retain tenants in today’s world.

Finding the Best Workplace Amenities

In order to activate your building amenities and drive value in your portfolio, you will need to establish a successful commercial building amenities list that can enhance the tenant experience and help provide meaningful data about your end-users and your building. 

As part of our HqOS™ operating system, our growing Marketplace of best-in-class technology partners can help aggregate numerous commercial amenities for any building. Landlords and property teams can then choose to activate pre-vetted partners and features that meet any building’s specific needs. Our unique features and solutions span across the following categories: Accessibility, Entertainment & Education, Food & Beverage, Mobility, Security, Sustainability, Wellness, and Workplace Solutions.

To learn more about how you can enhance your building’s office amenities — and thus increase the value of your portfolio — schedule a free demo today.

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