Using office amenities as a tool for recruiting and retention
As people spend more and more time at the office, staff are increasingly raising the bar as to their expectations for the environments they work in. People no longer see their workplaces as just a place to push paper and toil away at computers. Both workers and employers are wanting spaces that cater to the social and wellbeing of their personnel.
The commercial market is responding to this trend opting to revamp and retool workspaces with features that staff will enjoy. Amenity-rich office spaces are not just seen as a pleasant addition to a business, they are now seen as a must-have. This trend is being led by a younger generation who are willing to work longer and harder if given the right motivation.
What’s on trend for office space right now?
Leveraging technology, hotdesks and laptops mean people can be mobile and move around throughout the day easily. Open floor plans with small tables and chair sets, bean bags, communal tables and quiet rooms are becoming common. Individual offices are going by the wayside in favour of ‘bullpen’ open table settings which can encourage conversation and collaboration.
Access to fresh air and outdoor seating does not just create an extra work area but a great spot for socialisation and team building. Kitchens don’t just have a sink and a microwave anymore. Instead these highly-used spaces have oversized refrigerators for wine, beer and food storage and espresso machines are becoming the norm. Water taps are filtered and provide both cold (still and sparkling) and water hot enough for tea and coffee. Cool light fixtures and long benches with stools and plugs beckon staff to eat lunch together, chat and to take a break from their desks.
Aesthetics can vary from an industrial vibe to sleek and modern. Exposed brick, funky artwork, wood floors and exposed ceilings continue to be a popular design trend - especially for businesses that thrive on inspiration. White-centric walls with sleek and modern accents are often the design scheme for businesses that want to communicate class and elegance. Depending on what the company’s product is and the tastes of employees, there is virtually an unlimited number of ways that an office can be designed and styled. There are lots of office fit-out specialists who will work with your budget and space.
What does this mean for landlords?
There is an interesting crossroads for owners of vacant spaces in certain areas as tenants migrate to the CBD, Wynyard Quarter and Sylvia Park. Would now be the ideal time to invest in improvements to attract new tenants? With so many offices empty at once, especially in the Southern Corridor, it will be a ‘tenants market’ for a while as landlords compete for new business. Infusing some cash into office spaces that may have grown tired of time could be a really smart move. Economists have virtually guaranteed that Auckland will keep growing which means that the demand for office space will have to meet that of those that want to do business here. A strategy of holding off on an immediate occupier in order to make some improvements could put you at the head of the pack with premiere clients once construction is completed.
How do you know what will work for your team?
You obviously don’t want to invest in things that won’t be a hit with the unique needs of your employees. For instance, installing a ping pong table when the majority of your staff don’t enjoy games may be a waste of resources. Instead, they may prefer bike racks, stocked with shared cycles and helmets to get around an urban area if most people commute into the city. Use an in-house electronic survey where people can talk about their preferences, hobbies and brainstorm ideas. Their creativity may surprise you!
Having a strategy for your office space?
We have in-house office leasing experts, with a roster of prospective tenants, who have a good feel for what people are looking for. Contact one of our agents or asset managers for insights on your particular property. They can give you the seasoned advice you are seeking for your next steps.