Must-Have Property Amenities in 2022
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As scientists discuss whether the pandemic is entering its end game, questions arise as to what this means across all industries, and how we collectively move forward. For this piece, we’ll be looking specifically at what this means for commercial property landlords and tenants.
Pre-COVID, commercial building amenities looked something like Casual Friday, regularly available coffee, and often ignored ping-pong tables. The pandemic caused a paradigm shift in office culture with companies having to rethink policies around health and wellbeing, transportation, and remote working. Instead of coffee shops, restaurants, and employee happy hours, office amenities have shifted to a greater focus on employee wellbeing. Consequently, commercial office buildings have become more amenity-centric as the purpose for the office evolves. We’ve already begun to see amenities, such as door-to-door and last-mile for tenants alongside wellness facilities, become the new trend in the corporate world.
What Amenities Do Tenants Want to See in 2022?
Here we’ll take a look at the must-have property amenities for commercial buildings in the months and years ahead. Let’s dive in!
Medical and Wellness Facilities
There’s no better time to incorporate wellness facilities in buildings than now, owing to the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, developers are increasingly seeing requests for workplace wellness rooms—or a space that can be used to improve the wellbeing of the employees. It could be a yoga space, a clinic, or a testing center for common diseases, including COVID-19. The benefit of this is that employees would feel more comfortable knowing their health status. It also makes it easier to receive immediate medical help in the case of emergencies. Recognizing the long-term impact of the pandemic on the employees’ physical and mental wellbeing has become a new trend in the corporate world. According to a recent KFF survey, nearly 40% of employers expanded mental health benefits during the pandemic.
COVID-19 has proved that childcare is a serious business. When the pandemic removed the safety net of schooling and employee-paid childcare for working parents, the damage was catastrophic. Without a stable form of childcare, many working parents had to navigate the murky waters of schooling and working full-time. According to a McKinsey study in September 2020, a whopping 46% of companies expanded parenting and schooling resources in 2020. Today, many commercial buildings offer flexible childcare blocks that working parents can take advantage of when they must attend a mandatory meeting. Properties that extend childcare options will achieve a competitive edge and foster retention.
Transportation – Private Shuttles
In 2020 when COVID-19 cases were skyrocketing, employees were hesitant to use public transportation. A Traveller Sentiment Survey by Oliver Wyman highlighted the severity of this challenge. Based on collected responses in May 2020 from 4,600 people, across nine countries, 52% of respondents described themselves as uncomfortable using subways and buses. Furthermore, of those that use mass transit regularly, 41% said they would use it less regularly. Not to mention the government’s social distancing policies to help curb the spread of the virus that prevented many people from using public transportation. As a result, properties and commercial buildings that offered employee shuttle services, like HQ Corporate Shuttles, gained a competitive edge over those that didn’t.
Today, the most successful property teams are those offering mobility services solutions to their tenants. Providing corporate shuttles, whether last-mile or door-to-door, for your tenants helps you stand out, demonstrates care for their health and safety, and enhances the tenant-property relationship. Corporate shuttles also provide passengers with a user-friendly app for easy ride-booking and other useful information including health and safety reminders, route maps, ETA, and push delay notifications. For property managers, contact tracing, control over seat capacity, and full visibility into every journey provide greater control and visibility.
Gym and Fitness Facilities
As mentioned, health has become a key focus for employees in the post-pandemic world. One way that companies can achieve this is by offering gym and fitness facilities. Motivated and driven employees like to take care of their health. However, after a long day of work, most people don’t want to go to the gym. By providing a gym for staff to use during their workday, you’re promoting a healthier workforce, which can go a long way in boosting employee morale and productivity.
With the entire business community increasingly recognizing the importance of going green, many people are looking to work with companies that are helping to save the planet. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to go green.
Some of the steps property developers and landlords can take to implement environmentally- friendly practices include:
- Designing green-certified offices
- Installing electric vehicle charging station in the building
- Having offices with lots of glass to let in more natural light
- Using eco-friendly cleaning solutions
- Reducing building energy footprint
- Leveraging solar power
Commercial building owners are investing $960 billion globally in modifying their existing infrastructure to become more sustainable. Today, sustainable buildings have a more positive impact on tenants than a decade ago.
In light of the recent pandemic, outdoor spaces now have a greater consideration by tenants than before the pandemic. Creating strong connections between your properties and the outdoors can be an attractive amenity for tenants. Green outdoor spaces can provide a welcome break from ‘screen time and give your employees a place to relax and unwind. That said, ensure your outdoor amenities are as impressive as your indoor facilities. A scenic rooftop or an attractive patio with decent seating will allow employees to take a break outside the office environment and recharge.
Socializing and Dining Facilities
The COVID-19 social distancing and stay-at-home policies introduced in 2020 led to chronic loneliness and boredom, leading to rising mental health issues. In a recent study conducted by researchers at Making Caring Common and published by The Harvard Gazette, 36% of the respondents reported feeling lonely frequently. Establishing social clubs and dining facilities in the workplace is a great way to socialize and restore normalcy in the post-pandemic world. Moreover, providing dining facilities allows employees to bond. Colliers International says property managers should allocate at least 10% of shared space to features like dining and fitness facilities.
Safety is a top priority for tenants and employers alike. If people don’t feel safe within your building, they’ll likely be unable to focus on their duties. Offering secured facilities can greatly ease tenants’ peace of mind, especially those who work on night shifts or other odd hours. The property management team can enhance security by improving lighting, installing security cameras, and having security personnel on guard 24 hours. Most importantly, landlords and property managers should be proactive about responding to tenant security concerns.
These are some of the most preferred commercial space amenities in 2022. You may not be able to offer every amenity on this list. Just think of what amenities are most impactful and what would most set you apart. Simple things like offering customized transportation and mobility services and top-notch security, for instance, can send a strong statement, making current and prospective tenants know you care about their wellbeing.
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