Article author: Rose Morrison of Renovated.com.
Last year, the pandemic sent millions of Americans home to work remotely. Now, many businesses are looking to transition either to full-time in-office work, or hybrid alternatives. As a result, health concerns and a new perspective have led many commercial office managers to search for a new office spaces for lease.
Here are the top features they’ll be looking for in 2021.
1. Resimercial Design
At home, employees are within walking distance of their kitchens, meaning coffee breaks and snacks are always just a few steps away. When they finally return to the office, they’ll likely expect the same amenities — along with a few other creature comforts.
To meet this demand for an office that’s more like home, commercial office managers are looking for office space within walking distance of unique eateries and shops that everyone can enjoy on their break.
Managers will also mix residential and commercial features to further achieve a resimercial design. By incorporating different textures, plants, ambient lighting, and durable seating, employers can recreate a home environment at work to help employees feel at ease.
2. Sustainable Building
As concerns for sustainability increase, employers and commercial office managers will also be looking for greener spaces. On top of being energy-efficient and offering plenty of natural light, these buildings should be a product of sustainable construction practices.
Ultimately, a sustainable build will increase a company’s bottom line by helping attract and retain employees. Nearly half of all employees and 75% of millennials would take a pay cut just to work for an environmentally-conscious company. Meanwhile, 70% of workers said that if their employer had a strong sustainability plan, they’d be more likely to consider staying with them long-term.
However, going green is more than just good business; it’s also great for the environment. Office construction and demolition projects generate massive amounts of waste each year. Managers can help curb emissions and minimize waste by choosing a space that incorporates sustainable materials and designs.
3. Better Ventilation
Many offices don’t have good ventilation, especially if they were built before the turn of the century. Instead of increasing airflow, these HVAC systems recirculate the same air, increasing health risks. As a result, many office managers are looking for spaces with new, state-of-the-art HVAC systems.
4. Personal Space
Great HVAC systems won’t do any good if employees are working in close proximity to one another. Thus, most office managers are looking for large spaces that promote social distancing and give everyone adequate personal space. They prefer open plan offices with private or multiple building entries and parking options that don’t require the close quarters of an elevator.
Of course, adding more empty space to the office can cause acoustical issues for employees who want to chat with remote workers and clients. To counteract this effect, architects are grouping desks into “neighborhoods” to minimize echoes and maximize communication.
With ample space to reconfigure desks, chairs, and other furniture, everyone can attend large in-house meetings without worrying about their health.
When it comes to choosing the right building for your office, co-creation is key. Survey employees to figure out what they want and need in a post-pandemic workplace. Which aspects of remote work do they value the most?
Consulting with employees and understanding their new needs and desires will help you narrow down your options based on the building’s unique features. Plus, you’ll have a happier and healthier team that’s more flexible and adaptable than ever before.