Modern office space amenities encourage a healthy work-life balance, help employees stay alert throughout the day, promote health and happiness over time, and foster a sense of community that keeps everyone feeling and working at their best. Creating a comfortable work environment promises greater collaboration, reduces turnover, and promotes a sense of belonging. Amenities such as these are a common feature among companies that consistently rank as some of the best places in the world to work.
Having healthy, convenient food located on or close to the office campus is an excellent resource for employees. This food could come from a catering service, an on-site cafeteria, or even shared kitchens, but a focus on health, accessibility, and community gives employees an opportunity to relax with their coworkers and destress before getting back to their busy days.
Nearby off-site restaurants are another great option, in addition to or instead of catering and cafeterias. If there are plenty of walkable food options near the office, workers can stretch their legs and have an opportunity to make lunch plans with others in the workplace. On- or near-site healthy, accessible food options promote employee wellness and help employees stay alert and focused throughout the day.
Outdoor areas are essential to a modern office campus. These spaces could be anything from a rooftop deck to outdoor cafes to the spherical greenhouses present at the Amazon Seattle campus. The important thing is to give employees access to outdoor relaxation areas throughout the day.
The benefits of increased exposure to sunlight have been studied and researched for years, and the conclusion always remains that more exposure to natural light means more refreshing sleep, improved concentration, and higher energy. Even a short walk in the middle of the day to stretch your legs and get some sun can do wonders for overall physical and mental health, both in the short- and long-term.
Another excellent feature is to have plenty of large windows and natural lighting in the space. Although open-air spaces are ideal, natural light through windows has been shown to provide similar benefits in the areas of well-being and sleep quality. And, if your area can support both open-air spaces and large windows, it creates an excellent environment for employees and improves overall engagement, productivity, and happiness.
As far as fads go, fitness is a good kick to be on. The modern workspace is filled with people interested in improving and maintaining their fitness levels, but it’s also filled with people who don’t want to fight the rush hour traffic to head to the gym after work. An on-campus fitness center removes the boundaries to health, providing a space for existing fitness fans to relax and work up a sweat after a work day and an opportunity to employees who wouldn’t otherwise have the time.
Fitness is only one aspect of health. Having access to a general wellness center and the medical and nutritional benefits that come with it encourages workers to offset the concerns that inherently come with office work, such as spending 8 to 12 hours per day sitting down and eating foods that don’t promote a healthy lifestyle. By encouraging a balance of work and life with walking paths, access to organic foods, and time in the day to step away from the desk, a wellness center is an excellent resource for businesses and workers to collaborate and discover what mix of positive life and work changes are best for them.
Indoor relaxation spaces such as lounges and rec rooms give employees a chance to unwind and spend time at their job, but in an environment that doesn’t feel like work. Encouraging people to take short breaks as needed throughout the day is a unique office amenity that is sorely underused, and short breaks throughout the day are a proven method for increased happiness and productivity.
Homes have different rooms for relaxation and work, and office spaces should too. Weekdays see workers spending just as much waking time at work as at home and, to provide the most comfortable space for employees, separate recreation areas are a must.
Many cities are adopting a pedestrian-friendly attitude, and walking and biking are becoming increasingly popular. Commuting to work with your own two feet serves double duty as a source of exercise and a reduced carbon footprint, and anything with such measurable benefits should be encouraged whenever possible. An office in an environment friendly to alternative commuting is also likely to have other amenities within walking distance, which is a main draw to attract new employees and retain existing ones.
An accessible garage with plenty of easy-to-access parking is also invaluable. Garages, especially with fast, accessible elevators, or parking lots with clear markings and covered walkways are excellent options when the location doesn’t suit manual commuting.
As workspaces continue digitizing, wi-fi becomes increasingly essential. Connectivity is a requisite in nearly all modern office environments, and campus-wide wi-fi allows employees who feel like taking advantage of amenities such as rooftop gardens or outdoor cafes to continue their work away from their desk. Wireless signal should be as universal and accessible as possible, providing a strong, fast signal wherever the need may be.
Offices with concierge services as one of their amenities can alleviate the concerns employees may have, completing administrative requirements such as banking and post office visits but also personal needs like washing the car or grocery shopping. Every amenity exists to make the workplace more comfortable for employees, but concierge services have an immediate effect on efficiency and allow outsourcing of small tasks so employees can focus on their work and life.
Office campus amenities are one of the most worthwhile investments a company owner can make. By better balancing the work and personal lives of employees, engagement rises and health and wellness are made a priority. Amenities designed for a modern workplace are essential for employee retention, productivity, and happiness.
Panache Development & Construction, Inc. © 2017