Office Amenities that Work
Not your Parents’ Office Amenities
Office amenities used to be viewed almost exclusively within the context of providing for the health and safety of a company’s employees. Identifying, supplying and maintaining workplace amenities was primarily a function of being compliant with the applicable codes. But amenities have evolved. They now include a spectrum of tools integral to elevating company culture and driving greater worker engagement.
Millennials and Gen Xers, the cohorts that dominate today’s workforce, have dramatically changed how work is delivered. How the physical workspace should look, and more critically, function, has evolved in tandem with this seismic shift in how work gets done. Workplaces now have to accommodate the specialized needs of an infinitely mobile workforce while promoting a culture of connection, inclusivity, and agility.
The explosion in the percentage of freelancers/independent workers, the accompanying heightened reliance on technology, increased demand for collaborative opportunities, and fluid working hours — have all become the stuff of days. Being able to access a comprehensive suite of office amenities is an effective way to help workers thrive.
The Amenities on the Rise
Desired amenities vary considerably workplace to workplace but generally speaking, those that simplify workers’ lives are the most valued. Providing workers with tailored amenities can motivate greater employee/worker engagement while reducing overall stress. This, in turn, clears the path for increased creativity, improved productivity, and increased profitability.
As every workplace is unique, there is no single formula as to what amenities should be made available but research reveals the most impactful are those that directly address a business’s/workers’ expertise when offered in tandem with a variety of workspaces.
Some amenities deemed to help attract and retain talent include:
Connected 24/7 and facing increasing workloads, millennials/GenXers work long hours which encroaches on their personal time. A recent Manpower Group study revealed 73% of millennials worldwide, worked 40+ hours a week and almost a quarter worked 50+. Hospitality-like services that workers can access to complete their personal tasks are particularly well received.
These services include everything from picking up dry cleaning to booking reservations, to delivering groceries. For example, employees at Deloitte’s Edge in Amsterdam, “the smartest building in the world”, enjoy a truly future-is-now workplace environment. If employees get hungry at the end of a long day, through an app that bestows a variety of services, they can order the ingredients of a meal in the appropriate proportions. At the end of the day, a paper bag with the exact amount of ingredients is waiting for them. They take it home, and within 10 minutes they can have a perfectly cooked meal.
A seamless slate of technology-related amenities, including enhancements such as the fastest commercial internet, hardware upgrades and wireless charging, along with access to knowledgeable IT support, is critical to ensuring the success of workers/companies. Technology allows for choice and flexibility which are high priorities for today’s workers. In particular, millennials and Gen Z benefit most from a tech-forward workplace. Building on their extensive use of consumer-oriented software (i.e. Instagram/Snapchat), the availability of enterprise technology that incorporates consumer-facing tech has been shown to stimulate productivity increases.
The Deloitte 2016 Millennial survey revealed that millennials expect businesses to focus less on profits and more on people, products, and cultivating an overarching purpose. They definitely favour workplaces that are designed to have a low environmental and negative social impact. Beyond the positive environmental return, investing in sustainability programs is an excellent method to support workers’ desire for meaningful work. As millennials and Gen Z are becoming more and more influential as an employee demographic and as consumers, they are driving demand for sustainability and purpose in the workplace and their personal lives.
Amenities that facilitate this awareness are not only welcome but championed by this cohort. And it doesn’t have to be a direct correlation. The Deloitte grocery program mentioned above is one way of not only saving time and enjoying nutritious food, but also of producing practically zero waste.
Accessible Food Options
According to Nielsen research, millennials and Gen Z prioritize healthy foods more so than other cohorts and are willing to pay a premium for it. Easy access to a variety of food options as well as the amenities to prepare, store and enjoy food within or in close proximity to the workplace is key in keeping employees in good health, good spirits and ultimately productive. And coffee…they must have good coffee!
More so than older generations, millennials and Gen Z highly value meaningful work and products that align with their values. Hence, a purpose-driven workplace positively impacts the employee/worker experience by magnifying the impact of one’s work and increasing employee satisfaction. Events that inspire connections add meaning to both work and life as they motivate engagement with the greater community. LinkedIn’s Purpose at Work Global Report, stated 73% of professionals who identify as purpose-driven are satisfied with their jobs.
Essentially workplace wellness programs support healthy behaviours so as to improve health outcomes for workers. A holistic approach to workplace wellness integrates physical wellness, emotional wellness, mental wellness, and even sometimes spiritual wellness. Activities can include undertaking such as health education and coaching, weight management programs, medical screenings, on-site fitness programs and much more. Research indicates wellness programs not only successfully support healthy behaviours, but they are also cost-effective.
Amenities and programs that facilitate these healthy activities from quiet rooms to purpose-built zones that include access to games, fitness equipment, privacy, nature, as well as skill-sharing are most popular.
Coworking Leading the Way
Coworking spaces offer incredible opportunities for independent workers, small start-ups and even larger established corporate entities to work ‘outside the box’ while cultivating inspiration and improving productivity.
Well before their traditional-office counterparts, coworking spaces recognized the upcoming workforce had very different expectations of what they needed in a workplace. Seeing an opportunity, coworking spaces have been at the forefront of the growing trend whereby office amenities are viewed less as perks and more as critical tools necessary for workers to facilitate a seamless work-life integration.
As providing a slate of effective amenities requires an investment from both a facility’s management and its tenants, savvy workplaces prioritize those that most improve the workplace experience and deliver the greatest performance boost. Bottom line …Office amenities are truly transforming workplaces!
If you are looking for an office space that delivers on a range of amenities, consider TPC. Whether you’re just starting a business or expanding into new markets, TPC’s meticulously planned workspaces are the ideal choice for today’s dynamic professionals. Book your tour or contact us today.