Redesigning Food at Work
Turning Challenges into Opportunities
When it comes to getting companies to sign on the dotted line and lease space in your commercial building, it all comes down to amenities. What can you offer that the building two blocks away doesn’t offer? What will set you apart?
Expectations are high and you need to impress. Here are 10 of the most preferred commercial building amenities:
1. Conference facilities. Companies may have meeting rooms in their space, but not enough to accommodate large events. Having conference facilities with adjustable room sizes on the premises makes it easy for tenants to plan and host larger meetings.
2. Reliable, fast Wi-Fi. If your commercial building amenities don’t include Wi-Fi, you’re at a real disadvantage. Companies expect their employees to be able to stay connected on their tech tools when they step outside the office suite and when they’re on break. This is especially important if cell reception is ever spotty.
3. Easy access to parking and transportation. Finding parking can be a real headache, especially in major cities. If you have a solution to this problem, whether it’s underground parking or a nearby lot or garage, it can be a huge selling point. Close access to public transportation is another bonus.
4. Dining options. Don’t force office tenants to leave your building to get a bite to eat. Providing an on-site cafeteria or pop-up restaurant service allows workers to avoid racing around on their lunch breaks. Colliers International says property managers should expect to allocate 10 percent of shared space to features like gyms and on-site dining. If they want to attract highly sought-after tenants, it should be closer to 12 percent.
5. Fully equipped fitness centers. Tiny workout rooms with a treadmill and a limited set of weights are things of the past. People today expect more, including large fitness centers with staff, classes, locker rooms and showers.
6. Outdoor space. Ah, fresh air! Make sure your outdoor amenities are as impressive as what you provide indoors. An attractive patio or scenic rooftop deck with lots of seating will allow employees to get outside and recharge.
7. Eco-friendly options. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to go green. Secure bicycle facilities, green-certified offices, lots of glass to let in natural light and electric vehicle charging stations are just a few ways to stand out against the competition.
8. Security measures. Safety is a fundamental concern for every company. Offering 24-hour security, a backup power generator and emergency drills shows you take the issue seriously and it allows tenants to feel more comfortable in your building.
9. Tenant lounge. For this amenity, think fun and spacious. Give employees a great space to go to on their breaks, with comfortable seating and activities like gaming systems, ping-pong tables or TVs. Also consider hosting social mixers in the lounge to allow tenants to get to know one another and to build a sense of community.
10. Retail. Professionals are busy, and running errands can be a major hassle. Having retail on-site can be real crowd pleaser. The right mix of retailers — perhaps a bank, shipping/mailing center and dry cleaner — makes it easy for employees to handle errands during breaks and maximize their precious time after work.
You may not be able to offer everything on this list, or you may have a lot of it already. Just think of what amenities are possible and what would most set you apart. Simple things like expanding your building’s food options and updating social spaces, for example, send a strong message letting tenants know you care about their needs and comfort.