The office amenities tenants desire have changed: now, more than ever, employees care about integrated technology and health and safety in the office. The competition landlords face has also changed. Instead of only competing with other office buildings, landlords must now also provide amenities to outweigh the benefits of a home office. Currently, 26% of office workers regularly work from home, a new reality commercial real estate (CRE) owners must prepare and plan for, as they strive to meet tenant needs.
As tenant expectations have evolved, landlords have a significant opportunity to implement new policies and add new building features or amenities to support tenant satisfaction.
Rethinking Office Amenities: The Future of Workplace Amenities
In a 2021 Bisnow Panel , CRE experts shared a list of office amenities tenants were looking for when leasing office space. The amenities listed were vital, not just for securing existing tenants but also for attracting new prospects. Today, a more sanitized workplace, flexible workstations, and open concept design continue to reign as top qualities of a good office experience. Other employee preferred office features include:
Rooftop decks and outdoor spaces continue to rank as high priority for tenants. Openness is key. For new buildings, this may include more spacious elevators or widened hallways. This may require a de-densified design, private office allocation, or a directed traffic flow for existing buildings.
Access to the outdoors is also an identified priority for tenants, and landlords are offering more green/outside spaces to meet this need. This may require modifications to existing outdoor areas, patios, gardens, and landscape designs for existing buildings.
For new buildings, peristyles are becoming popular, which offer green areas indoors. Balconies, walking areas, and decks are other ways to give tenants access to outdoor areas.
Flexible and multi-use spaces
As hybrid work models have become a professional work style norm, property owners need to be flexible and adapt to new types of office uses. For teams that need to gather, offering unique arrangements and spaces inside the building is key. This may take the form of flexible conference areas, enlarged social spaces, multi-use meeting rooms, and more common multi-purpose areas. Another idea making major headway and bringing in additional revenue for building owners is to rent multi-use spaces on a temporary or as-needed basis.
Safe and smart buildings
Smart building features support long-term tenant health and safety while providing an integrated approach to the tenant experience and streamlining operations. Touchless entry, 24-hour monitored surveillance, app-based check-in, facility feature use, and even clean air technology help. An example is Hartman Income REIT Management’s award-winning Clean Air Initiative, which addresses the fact that clean air is a premiere office amenity tenants specifically seek.
Building owners must listen to what tenants want and accommodate those preferences with thoughtfully designed, well-maintained buildings.
Flexible vs. Traditional Office Spaces
The pandemic opened windows of opportunity to a new way people can work. Whether remote working, hot-desking, or hybrid working, tenants are using a new model. The typical office workplace has changed. Tenants are looking for clean, technology-equipped offices with more flexible open workspace. For example, many businesses are favoring the benefits of executive suites for rent, which provide all of the amenities of a large company, in a hassle-free, cost-effective solution.
With the major economic growth seen in Texas in recent years, it is expected that in-office workers in the state will continue to rise in 2023. This growth is expected to be driven by new businesses and companies relocating to the region. In addition, existing businesses are expected to expand their operations and hire more in-office workers. Such growth warrants the need for office spaces that can draw new tenants with top amenities and work features.
Supporting Productivity and Wellbeing With Office Amenities
The market dynamics are constantly changing, but some office amenity preferences are genuinely new. More than ever, tenants and their employees want to feel safe, secure, and comfortable when they go to work. For many, the incentives of top tier office amenities and designs support worker productivity and are often essential in leasing an office space.
Looking for an office space for lease? View office and executive suites for lease in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
About the author:
Anthony Trollope is the Director of Marketing at Hartman Income REIT. To stay up to date on the digital transformation in CRE, follow Anthony Trollope on Medium, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.