The traditional office environment is becoming increasingly antiquated in today’s innovative, digital and health-focused world. Gone are the days when offices merely consisted of workstations, blank meeting spaces and minimalist kitchens. Now, there is an onus on developers and business owners to ensure employees are looked after physically and mentally, as top companies are now judged and measured by employee satisfaction as well as pure productivity. In fact, there is thought to be a strong link between the two.
For office owners and investors, therefore, new questions are arising about how to attract the best tenant companies. Creating a physical environment that promotes wellbeing and innovative ways of working is no easy feat, particularly when many of us are still so used to the traditional office set up.
Read on for a few suggestions about how employee wellbeing may be nurtured with innovatively designed office spaces. After all, getting on board with wellness trends now may pay off for investors in the future by garnering tenant loyalty, increasing demand for rental and by improving the productivity of the occupant workers.
Consider communal spaces
Many businesses are waking up to the vital role of collaborative work in driving growth and productivity. As such, creating inspiring and open communal spaces for group work is vital for office owners today. These could take the form of open rooms with moveable seats, sofas and maybe more quirky forms of furniture like benches or beanbags. Indeed, adding a little bit of fun to communal office spaces can nurture positive employee relationships and therefore better collaborative methods.
Think about employees’ needs
It can be easy for property developers and owners of commercial properties to forget that tenants have needs beyond the job they are there to do. Including areas for bike storage, locker space or somewhere to take a quick shower can make an employee’s work life far more comfortable and enjoyable.
Some cutting edge businesses are even starting to provide spaces such as gyms or games rooms to encourage employees to take a break and look after themselves. Far from being a waste of resources and money, these sorts of spaces can actually drive productivity as they allow users to clear their minds and build up some mental strength for their next bout of work. Building managers might even want to consider the benefits of implementing employee wellbeing programs such as pilates, educational sessions or sports clubs to generate a positive work-life balance within the building.
Look after the environment to increase employee happiness
Sustainability is high up on the agenda for many companies. Not only does having good green credentials improve the reputation of a company, it helps to mitigate its impact on our vulnerable planet and reassures employees that they are working for a business that upholds solid moral values.
Indeed, wellness and sustainability are positively correlated in today’s business world, and owners of commercial real estate should take this into account before letting their property. More than just a means to do something good for the world, tapping into the trend for ‘smart buildings’ can allow investors to charge high rents and save money on operational costs.
In order to render a building more environmentally-friendly, property developers should consider using cutting-edge building materials that regulate temperature without expending lots of energy. The inclusion of plants and beautiful outdoor spaces is another way to promote the importance of looking after the environment as well as giving employees somewhere to take a much needed break. Offering programs on sustainability and carbon literacy may also be a positive move, and can draw in businesses hoping to better their corporate profiles.