The Future of “Destination Workplaces”

By Gary Tasman

Fitness centers. Meditation rooms. Pool tables.

Only a decade ago, office amenities like these were nearly unheard of, only offered at the most progressive tech companies. Today, unique services and experiential offerings like these have become the norm at many workplaces. Employers who want to remain relevant and attract top talent are taking notice and adapting their workplace designs to incorporate more employee amenities.

COVID-19 taught us that “going to work” doesn’t necessarily mean traveling to a traditional office building. As a result, employers are searching for ways to motivate staff to gather together and connect with each other and their organization. Amenities like team brainstorming hubs, walking paths and relaxation areas provide both an atmosphere for collaboration as well as an inviting environment.

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“For several years now, we’ve been seeing retailers expand into this experiential space, and this includes experience-based businesses that have developed in our area,” explains Shawn Stoneburner of Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Property Southwest Florida. “Now, employers are taking that cue and are trying to provide unique experiences at the office. As companies reassess their space needs for the post-COVID future, employee amenities need to be part of the total equation.”

Many companies have the luxury of planning these perks from the ground up. NeoGenomics’ new headquarters in Lee County, for example, will consist of a three-story office building, a two-story laboratory building, and other support structures totaling 150,000 square feet. Also included in the design are a courtyard, an outdoor dining area, a fitness path, cafes on every floor, and teaming spaces to encourage collaboration.

However, creating a great workplace experience can be challenging. With five generations now in the American workforce, employees have widely varying tastes and expectations. Employee insights are essential to determine appropriate amenities. Workers need to share their needs, wants, preferences, and current challenges, so employers can create meaningful experiences. After surveying employees, employers nationwide have started offering out-of-the-box amenities like personal errand-running and on-site childcare facilities.

Amenities should also mesh with an organization’s corporate culture. For example, many companies have made employee wellness a strategic priority. Those organizations can provide fitness centers or walking paths to aid in physical well-being, and relaxation areas or meditation rooms to promote emotional well-being.

“A great example in our area is Scottlynn USA, who is focusing on health and wellness as it builds a new headquarters,” says Stoneburner. “Their plans include a walking path, fitness centers, and even a basketball court on premises. And they’re still adapting. When the coronavirus pandemic started, they improved their plans to add a new air filtration system.”

Creating a creative and inviting living space was vital in the design process for Seagate Development Group, the developer for both Scotlynn and Neogenomics, whose new headquarters opened earlier this year. “Seagate paid attention to aesthetics to help promote creativity in its team,” says Stoneburner. “In addition to amenities like coffee bars, lounge areas, and collaborative workspaces, they also made the facility warm and inviting with an outdoor balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows.”

The professionals at Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Property Southwest Florida want to be your go-to team as you reconsider the workplace needs of your company and your employees. If you own a commercial property, this is the perfect time to sell, as there are qualified buyers ready to make a move into a facility that better suits their needs.

Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Property Southwest Florida’s professionals combine their local commercial real estate knowledge and experience with a data-driven, evidence-based approach to create powerful insights and empower your decision making. When it’s time to sell, Cushman & Wakefield’s process is designed to get clients the best possible sales price in the shortest amount of time.

The team at Cushman & Wakefield is equipped with the passion, knowledge, creativity, data and inventory to help businesses become better as we all adapt to our new reality. Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Property Southwest Florida wants to help you develop a plan that best fits your needs. Contact-us.

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