Prior to lockdown measures in response to the pandemic, conversations around the tenant experience were dominated by amenities, such as fitness programs, catering services and on-premise entertainment. But now, as remote workers gradually return to their office spaces, amenities are no longer valued by tenants as desired add-ons to the office experience.
Priorities have fundamentally shifted. The lobby’s coffee shop and gym are still convenient and nice to have, but they are secondary concerns for organizations looking to lease space. The most pressing issue on the minds of returning tenants is the safety of themselves and their families.
“The tenant experience rests on fundamentally sound building operations, not office perks.”
With this in mind, tenants are looking to owners and operators to reimagine commercial spaces and ensure that their health and safety are a top priority. The tenant experience rests on fundamentally sound building operations, not office perks.
So, how should you approach this new tenant mindset? While there is certainly no “one-size-fits-all” approach to health and safety plans, there are three critical considerations office building owners and operators need to take into account – if they want to ensure their tenants stay safe, healthy and, ultimately, on the rent rolls.
Reimagine office spaces’ potential and Leverage Visualization
The pandemic has proven that some remote work is possible, but there is still no denying that office space facilitates a number of activities integral to business and personal success. As evidenced by how quickly professionals have flocked to video conferencing while remote, colleagues depend on face-to-face communications to be productive, and offices are natural arenas for that.
“Building owners and operators who want to retain business prospects will need to proceed with a heightened level of flexibility.”
That being said, how office spaces are occupied will naturally change following the pandemic. Building owners and operators who want to retain business prospects will need to proceed with a heightened level of flexibility. For example, employers have now had ample time to reevaluate how their spaces can be used more efficiently; do they want more square footage to accommodate a socially distanced workforce, or do they want less space, permanently keeping part of their staff remote?
To facilitate this planning from a distance, savvy management and leasing teams can employ 3D visualization technologies to help existing and prospective occupants better conceptualize the spaces they are considering. Not only does this expedite the leasing process but helps encourage maintaining a healthy distance between workspaces, all with the goal of keeping tenants safe.
Prioritize Safety and Sanitation.
In today’s world, a surprising number of people are thinking about air circulation in their offices for the first time. Before the pandemic, this was a concern mainly for engineers but now office occupants are thinking about how the air is being circulated, how frequently and whether the filters in their office’s HVAC units have been changed recently. If the building’s HVAC filters have been upgraded recently, property managers can and should communicate that fact to their tenants in order to put them at ease and encourage their safe return to the space.
“Anxiety around the spread of Covid-19 is everywhere these days, meaning that sanitation needs to be top of mind for property teams as tenants continue to travel down the path of re-occupancy.”
Anxiety around the spread of Covid-19 is everywhere these days, meaning that sanitation needs to be top of mind for property teams as tenants continue to travel down the path of re-occupancy. This dedication extends beyond increased cleaning — management teams need to execute ongoing, direct communication with tenants and maintenance teams to ensure everyone understands the advancement and handling of the situation. Given the patchwork of reopening protocols spread across the country, existing and prospective occupants want a clear understanding of how their individual building is planning to approach re-occupancy to confirm they’re doing it safely.
Communicate Early and Often
To instill confidence in occupants, management teams must draft comprehensive digital guides detailing their unique action plans, articulating all practices from how they’ll sanitize in the occurrence of an outbreak, to any processes occupants will have to complete when they enter the building every day. Having this information in writing will also work to eliminate unnecessary back-and-forth communications, in which detailed protocols can quickly become misunderstood or contradictory.
“The pandemic has changed so much about our day-to-day lives, and the tenant experience is no different.”
However, even with a comprehensive guide available, operators do still need to establish and share the most effective way for occupants to contact them, whether that be by phone or text, email or a building’s management portal.
The pandemic has changed so much about our day-to-day lives, and the tenant experience is no different. During these turbulent times, property managers are expected to mitigate as much anxiety as possible as it pertains to their properties, and this is dependent on effective building operations. Having the right tools and procedures in place will allow property managers to respond to crises quickly and seamlessly, assuring occupants that they are in good hands.
Original article published by: Unissu
Author: Tim Curran, CEO, Building Engines