Leasing Commercial Space? Here Are Ten Amenities to Look For
If you are looking to lease new commercial space, then you may already be aware that today’s employees demand more than a water cooler. Your CIO might also have some opinions, and there are some things that help your reputation as well. Here are some top amenities that will help you attract and retain top talent.
1.Sustainability. Millennials expect a green workspace. And younger consumers also tend to look to buy from companies that are doing their share for the environment. When possible, choose space in a LEED building, or at least space which is LEED-certified. Smart office features such as automatic multi-zone thermostats are also highly desirable.
2.Support for alternative commuting. Especially if you are in a city, a lot of your employees will be choosing to leave the car at home. A high number of millennials don’t even have a car. Support bicycle commuting with bike lockers and on-site showers. If you can’t choose a site close to public transportation, look for a building which offers a shuttle.
3.Outdoor areas. Employees like to have access to a place they can eat lunch outside on a pleasant day. Look for a building with a terrace or roof deck where your employees can go during their break. You may also be able to rent the roof deck for after hours events. Make sure this area has wi-fi, so on really nice days people can even go outside to work, which can spark creativity.
4.Fast elevators. Nobody wants to lose a chunk of their lunch break waiting for the elevator. When looking at the space, do a quick usability test on the elevators. Ideally, swing by during rush hour to check for elevator lines. Slow or insufficient elevators can be a major cause of frustration. In smaller buildings, check to see if the stairwells are locked – younger, fitter employees appreciate being allowed to take the stairs and this can free up elevator space for those unable to do so.
5.A fitness center. If the building does not have one, look to see if there is a gym nearby. You can then contact that gym and see if they will work with you on an employee discount. Healthy employees result in lower health costs and fitness centers attract talent.
6.Technology. Your employees (and you) are more connected than ever. If you can, choose a building with a DAS (distributed antennae system) which ensures cellphone coverage even in the parking garage.
7.A kitchen. Yes, this might be old school, but an en-suite kitchen is appreciated by a lot of employees, particularly if food in the area is expensive. Consider having two microwaves, if possible, reserving one of them for smelly food such as fish.
8.Natural light. Offices with windows have always been desirable. Using open plan space and glass walls can bring that to all of your workers. Exposure to daylight improves health and productivity, especially during the winter in northern locations, where people can easily be arriving at work before it is light and leaving after it is dark.
9.Extra meeting room access. Many buildings now have conference rooms that can be rented for larger meetings or brainstorming sessions. This can allow you to save money on square footage while still being able to bring the entire office together when needed.
10. Privacy rooms. Private study areas, quiet libraries and meditation rooms are all desirable. Bear in mind that if you have 50 or more workers you also need to provide a lactation room. As employees have been known to use the lactation room as a meditation room or to take phone calls, everyone is happier if there are multiple private rooms available.
Obviously, you and your employees may have other needs, but these are ten of the best amenities to look for when leasing new space and wanting to keep everyone happy and productive.