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Amenities: Know which ones are attracting occupants

Raquel Miralles • 5/12/2023

Occupants were already looking for differentiated workspaces before the pandemic. However, the flight to quality trend has been growing at a rapid pace since 2020. A study by Cushman & Wakefield revealed that amenities are important strategies for supporting the employee's office experience and, consequently, attracting occupiers.

Employee experience matters
Employees need motivation to attend the office several days a week, this includes the quality of the space, the level of services provided and the variety of amenities in and around the building. Occupants are looking to provide this to them.

The role of amenities
Amenities can be a solution to support the employee experience in the office. The most common ones are:

Integration: Amenities that create spaces for experience, collaboration and socialization
Convenience: Amenities that support employees in their busy lives
Getting Around: Amenities that make getting around easier, including parking or nearby public transportation
Wellness: Amenities that support ESG and wellness initiatives around inclusion, health, sustainability, etc.
Safety: Amenities that provide safety and security for occupants
Technology: Amenities that incorporate technology infrastructure, such as user experience applications

What are occupants looking for?
The concept of flight to quality is widely understood as the driver of office demand in recent years. But what does that mean beyond new construction? What are the main amenities that occupants are looking for in a class A and A+ building?
Convenience of Access is Key: Among the top five most common amenities are on-site parking and access to public transportation within two blocks. This indicates two critical things: getting to and from work is as important as ever; the biggest barrier for employees to return to the office is commuting.

This means that buildings that are well located are more attractive to occupants. Of course, this is a reality in (CBDs).
Intangible needs: Not surprisingly, occupants want to be in buildings where people feel safe. Additionally, office productivity needs to be equivalent – if not better – than working from home. How many of us have walked into the office only to find the technology and connectivity worse than at home?

Wellness is the New Amenity: Occupants are increasingly concerned about mental, physical, environmental and organizational health
Food: Food and beverage amenities are always evolving, becoming more personalized, instant and convenient. In addition to traditional food options, there is a growing use of pop-up services, tech-friendly micro-markets, off-site delivery, take-home meals and even tastings.
Activation and entertainment: Employees need experiences like special events and socializing. Lounges can serve as a social hub for the building and for smaller tenants, can help offset the costs of building meeting spaces.

The study's findings are not intended to imply that simply by investing in amenities, occupants' problems with engagement will be solved. These are insights that can support occupiers with real estate decisions that will affect their business and the well-being of their employees.

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