What do office tenants desire in their workplace?
First and foremost, office tenants desire a walkable live-work-play environment. Live-work-play is defined as a development containing office space, restaurants, work-out facilities, green space, hotels, entertainment venues and a variety of housing options (apartments, condos, single family homes, townhouses, etc.). I have included links to a few articles that further describe this growing movement.
The second thing office tenants are looking for is modern space with high ceilings, floor to ceiling glass and large floorplates. Not only do office tenants enjoy the aesthetics of these features, but the studies show that abundant natural light and high ceilings improve employee’s mood and productivity. Even older downtown warehouses that have been converted to creative office space, the infrastructure of high ceilings and large windows outperform the mid-century office buildings with lower ceilings and narrow windows.
The next thing that tenants desire is close, convenient parking. Suburban, mixed-use developments have accomplished this by building connected parking garages as opposed to large parking fields reminiscent in the last century. This also helps the connectivity of the development by keeping the walkable amenities closer together.
Larger tenants are looking for prominence both for branding purposes and employee recruitment. Placing a sign on top of taller building along the freeway accomplishes this mission and also adds credibility to the development. These larger tenants are also looking for efficient, wide-open floorplans that allow long term flexibility.
A newer trend, which was reinforced even further through the pandemic is the need for multiple working environments within an office space. This means in addition to a private workspace such as an office or a cubicle, employees desire different areas where they can sit and work such as a café, lounge, high top seating, outdoor terraces, etc. This shift in workplace dynamic has been linked with another movement referred to as Biophilic Design which attempts to enhance indoor environments with nature and the outdoors.
A requirement that should not be overlooked is the need for ADA compliance. Many buildings make an attempt to be ADA accessible when undergoing a building renovation, but it is very hard to achieve full ADA compliance unless you are building new construction.
In addition to the what is outlined above, tenants are desiring Class A characteristics now more than ever. They are looking for that “wow” factor to impress both employees and guests. These include but are not limited to, high end finishes, unique design features, glass walls, LED Lighting, solid surface flooring, and high efficiency heating and cooling. Tenants are also attracted to new construction over existing product due to the focus on increased sustainability.
Office tenants in today’s world are looking at their space as an extension of their company culture, as opposed to just a place to do business. They make their choices based upon much more than just location and cost. It ultimately comes down to which space is going to help them grow and prosper for the years to come.
Other Articles discussing the growing trend of live-work-play: