Top-Notch Amenities are the New Normal
You’re wrapping up a long week at the office. You’re about to finish up the last email before heading out when your newly hired coworker asks if you want to grab a drink. Why not meet up at the outdoor fire pit behind your office building? As you leave your workspace you head past the recently renovated café area. That’s where you grab a chai skim latte for you and a coffee with oat milk for your coworker. New pavers line the path to the outdoor seating area. You even have a view of a nearby pond! If this is your reality, there’s a chance your company or building has made a serious investment in amenities. And these perks aren’t just fluff anymore. There’s sound business reasons to include them in any return to office strategy in 2021 and beyond.
85% of people want to come back to the office, but not full time according to a new Cushman & Wakefield survey.
With that in mind, our Business Development Manager Alyse Sarti attended Bisnow’s Workplace of the Future event in Lower Manhattan. A large network of professionals from the commercial real estate business were present, including brokers, lawyers, facility directors, and suppliers.
Panelists spoke about major topics impacting workspace design and the importance of proper amenities kept coming up throughout.
1) Developing and designing an inspiring, flexible workplace
Sarti said, “For most of our clients here at Infinity Group, flexibility is more important than ever before. And when it comes to commercial real estate, the companies we work with are focused on the intersection of people, culture, and trust.”
One of the panelists had an interesting take on flexibility right now.
“Enticing people back into work has been extraordinarily hard,” said Shri Madhusudhan, the Vice President of Property Service at National Grid.
She added, “Our employees no longer really care for the free coffees or the free lunches. They’re looking for something more, they’re looking for collaboration in a different kind of way. The single biggest question that employees ask me is, ‘What are you doing to keep me safe?”
Here at Infinity Group, our expert design team works with clients to add biophilic elements to bring the outdoors inside. Did you know that just looking at a plant or a beach scene in a photo can lower your blood pressure? So even if it’s artificial plants that require little to no upkeep, you too can have a green thumb in the office.
2) Transformative technologies
Technology to support hybrid and flexible work is key. Think about it, if an employee returns to the office and hops on a zoom call with coworkers in another part of the same building, what is the purpose of being together in the physical space together? As we emerge from the default habits of the pandemic, it’s wise for company leadership to focus on innovative technology to connect in person and hybrid teams, while giving in person teams an inspiring space to brainstorm ideas and dream bigger.
Panelists talked about some industry-leading technology tools that can eliminate daily frustrations. It starts with a foundation of installing correct building technology. Then, smart leaders are integrating technology into their physical spaces with tenant experience programs. We’re talking about things like easy-to-use company-wide booking platforms for meeting space, individual booths, and wellness rooms.
Image credit: heatnglo.com
Now, back to that on property after-work fireside skim chai latte. Wouldn’t a strong public Wi-Fi signal on the patio and great lighting be important? Technology expectations of tenants in the market are high, and with the right team you can make sure you’re covered.
At Infinity Group our team can walk an existing complex and put together a mockup with accurate project costing to help realize a vision that incorporates amenities, wellness, and green spaces to attract new tenants into the building. While we usually work on commercial interiors and offices, we also have experience with commercial exteriors and common use spaces. We have a neat virtual reality feature as well. You can learn more about Infinity Group Virtual Reality by clicking here.