Space differentiators of yesterday, like grand lobbies, fitness center, outdoor gathering spaces or smart elevators were envisioned to add value to the office spaces. In fact, for a while it did, till the modern worker stopped seeing value in these. Furthermore, if we consider the use of such facilities and compare it with the cost incurred to set it up, there is a definite gap with regard to the value it provides. While cost intensive, these remain grossly under-utilized with only 8-10% of employees utilising it. This, in essence, suggests that although it might make an interesting grand tour for a prospective tenant, it fails to add lasting value to the company and its employees.
With the change in dynamics of work and workplace, demographics and technology; tenants requirements have also changed. This has led to a shift in the design focus too. Today developers and owners are evaluating the impact of the physical space on the wellness of their tenants and on work-life balance . The focus is on integrating experiential elements and designing and constructing offices that add value to the organization and contribute to employee welfare and wellness.
Green design, including introduction of biophilia, ergonomic furniture, humanized lighting, air quality in indoor premises along with a choice of zones with multi function spaces to collaborate or relax and rejuvenate are all a result of this change in focus. Use of eco-friendly material, natural lighting, green spaces, along with up to date technology with all its trappings like superior audio and video display, Wi-Fi capabilities, flexible charging stations, easy remote access are some of the enablers of today’s collaborative work environment.
The shift from opt-in features that employees may or may not utilise, to an all-in approach where each employee’s health and welfare is considered has gained popularity. This has helped companies attract and retain top talent. The overall concept is to enhance productivity and collaboration giving employees a comfort factor which enables them to work in a sustained “well “environment.
Including modern differentiators in the available space add value and positively improve employee and employer experience. Developers can easily incorporate ideas that improve the office design and its functionality. This can not only boost demand for highly functional, modern and chic commercial spaces, but also helps in better occupancy and higher return on investment, especially at a time when there is stagnancy in the vacancy levels of office space.