Colin Werner is the founder and CEO of Inc lulafita consumer experience brand that supports the future of work.
The workplace has changed. As landlords and employers continue their attempts to entice people back into their offices, offerings of improved amenities are making headlines and dollars. In its “Office 2022 Outlook,” JLL reported that office re-entry levels reached a post-pandemic high in September and that high-quality, premium assets are significantly outperforming the rest of the market.
Employees returning to the office are not the employees who left – and they want their workplace to represent that. With the growing importance of a more holistic work experience, now is the time to find ways to make the workplace a destination with facilities and spaces focused on hospitality and wellness.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach
Companies should consider that there is no “big” in-office MLM solution. An amenity or event offer that works for one group doesn’t always work for another. To truly retain tenants and employees, we must think about how we value their uniqueness and make smart decisions about our intended experience and design.
Consider the office as a destination, and based on that mindset, try to understand exactly what will bring workers back to the workplace. Since you can’t do without asking them, open a clear channel of communication—either internally or with the help of a consultant—to help you decide which changes to amenities and office design will have the most impact.
We are in the midst of a cultural shift, and this means that the needs of today’s employees are no longer what they were two years ago. Employees want and need office experience that they consider valuable – something worth moving on to. Moving forward, it is important that we focus on what works for employees and how to ensure their meaningful return to the workplace.
Rethink property management
Embracing technology is one way to rethink traditional property management. By automating internal functions and workflows, operators and management groups can save money on operating expenses and free up costs to expand hospitality-focused services and offerings.
For many situations, I believe it is wise to seek out hospitality professionals and companies to implement this strategy because they understand the nuances of creating destination experiences. Think about the last time you checked into a hotel. Hospitality is at the core of the entire experience.
Unfortunately, today, many office spaces are built or managed without the end user in mind. The ice cream and cookie cutter social media of yesteryear is no longer enough. It is necessary to realize exactly what the workplace should be like. Employees who feel like they’re spending most of the day inside a space that doesn’t meet their needs won’t stay.
We must be realistic about the amenities actually used and go beyond just meeting the physical needs of employees. Ask yourself, how will these facilities support mental health and impact social well-being? When we implement programming and amenities that focus on inclusion, not just to offer amenities, we have the opportunity to “energize” employees and work at the highest level of engagement.
You can integrate culture and experiences in such a way as to make the property management model forward in the hospitality industry. In doing so, I believe you can create a workplace that can survive the future of work.
Reap the rewards of enhancing your assets
The tendency of renters to pressure landlords to provide premium amenities is due in part to the fact that millennials, who make up most of the current workforce, are vocal in their desire to see amenity spaces transformed to suit their needs.
For many managers and owners, the thought of investing in space can be daunting, but those who upgrade amenities have the potential to see a positive return on investment by attracting and retaining tenants and experiencing higher rents and increased occupancy rates.
See it as enhancing your property – the ability to tell a more compelling story and entice tenants and staff while others continue to struggle with retention. You are investing not only in the face of a company or organization but in its entire workforce. Because without these diverse individuals, that company or organization would not exist.
Hospitality is a booming industry. In embracing the industry’s ethos of wellness, property managers have the opportunity to connect with the wants and needs of today’s workplace culture and implement a careful balance of impactful amenities.
The Forbes Business Council is the premier growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Am I eligible?