CRE.Converge was earlier this month – an event bringing together some of the brightest minds in the commercial real estate (CRE) industry – and the Building Engines team had the pleasure of attending.
One notable event at the conference was the session, “The evolution of amenities in office and industrial spaces.” And the insights were just too good not to share. The panelists, Dawn Riegel, Stacy Mosley, and Jinger Tapia engaged in a captivating discussion around the evolution of amenities in the office and industrial markets.
Here’s the insider scoop from that session and some takeaways every CRE professional should know about the changing dynamics of today’s work environment.
Starting the discussion, Riegel emphasized making beneficial holistic changes to buildings. It’s not just about offering recreational attributes like shuffleboard and kegerators but rather about offering value. She suggested offering financial solvency as an amenity or creating various workspaces within the office to mimic the feel of an at-home, remote workspace.
She went on to say that the aim for amenities is to help boost tenant attraction and retention. So, designing spaces with close attention to detail, like offering natural lighting, for example, goes a long way. That and making sure you have what your neighbors offer are valuable ways to stand out.
Riegel’s final suggestion was to encourage surveying tenants and employees to learn how they feel about their spaces. Because as we have learned, tenant satisfaction is #1. Without happy tenants, we don’t have successful buildings, plain and simple.
Following a campus design
Delving deeper into the specifics of building interiors and campus design, Mosley highlighted civic commons as a priority. As an example, she pointed to a recent a project, which resulted in the creation of a large park, that benefited not just the organization but also the wider community.
Hosting regular events and volunteer days at the park have had a marked impact on overall satisfaction. Mosley said with campuses like this, there isn’t even a need to market the amenities; the properties speak for themselves.
Between the park and the seamless integration of mixed-use buildings that also host residential spaces, Mosley suggested taking an innovative approach to improving workplace experience. The goal, she said, is to make thoughtful and distinctive decisions for properties.
Adding another perspective, Tapia discussed how the industrial market must focus on creating indoor/outdoor spaces and has found an increasing need for green spaces.
She emphasized how amenities should contribute to the sustainability of employees within the organization and fulfill their desire for connectivity and human interaction. The introduction of outdoor lounges as potential collaboration spaces and beautifying entryways by including windows and landscaping is becoming more and more popular when designing workspaces. Or even adding Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations. As a nod towards a greener future, the demand in EV provides a glimpse into the evolving requirements of workspaces.
Tapia also noted that in this era of data-driven decisions, tracking which areas of workspace employees use most could be key to making the necessary changes – a method that still remains underutilized.
Where to next?
As the business environment continues to evolve, these insights into amenity trends for office and industrial spaces offer a valuable blueprint for keeping employees satisfied and creating a conducive work environment. With the changing dynamics of work environments and emphasis on employee satisfaction, businesses are adopting inventive strategies to function effectively.
We hope these insights from CRE.Converge make you think more about your property’s offerings. If you’re looking for addition information on tenant experience and amenities, check out the research report, “The future of tenant experience in CRE.” You’ll find helpful insights as you begin planning for next year.