Office Perks Might Look a Bit Different When We’re Back to Work
Commercial real estate’s office sector has been striving to perfect the workspace design formula for years now. Today’s professional arena revolves around company culture, where office amenities, technology, and lifestyle integrations all merge to cultivate a productive and profitable company. And when the tenants are doing well, so are their commercial landlords.
As such, office perks are a big deal within the commercial office arena. However, just like everything else, this trend of workspace innovation has been disrupted by the pandemic.
“In Knoxville, the biggest trend we are seeing in office environments are offices moving from an open concept layout to individual office spaces,” says NAI Koella | RM Moore Senior Advisor Michelle Gibbs. “While urban areas of Knoxville have seen more office spaces come up for rent, those are quickly being filled by companies coming from places like California and Chicago.”
Besides clearing out office assets all over the country as teleworking became the new normal of 2020 and into 2021, COVID’s impact to the office scene has introduced big changes to the office benefits that both operators and tenants have grown to love.
Now that we’re past the pandemic’s additional foothold and are beginning to imagine what the new normal will look like now that the vaccine is beginning to roll out, it’s important to consider how the office environment will have changed once we all return to the office.
To better shape your outlook, here’s how 4 office perks that will be different when tenants are finally up and running in the office post-COVID:
Access to Wellness
Wellness is a pivotal part of strong company cultures. After all, a healthy and happy team is a successful one. Companies have found great success by offering access to wellness amenities, such as fitness areas, relaxation areas, and game areas.
After COVID, expect a building’s wellness avenues to include health screening areas specifically for dealing with the coronavirus. These areas will likely host healthcare workers and can be used as an area for regular COVID screening and to treat symptoms as they emerge during the workday.
As collaboration remains top-of-mind for companies, conference areas have been effective in stomping out individualistic workflows while creating a safe space for sharing and bonding between teams.
Once offices adopt social distancing protocols, these conference rooms will need to be adjusted accordingly. Expect to see the headcount drastically reduced while team members that are still remote or WFH can e-attend via video conferencing. Windows and doors will be left open to generate a consistent airflow, PPE will be worn, and virus-resistant HEPA filters will be the norm for office conference spaces.
Food Delivery Services
Before the pandemic, food delivery services were replacing the outdated cafeteria model. Team members could order meals on-demand from nearby restaurants or affiliated eateries – actively elevating the lunchtime mood.
Now, after COVID, food delivery services will be playing an even bigger role in feeding office employees. It’s safer to order from a clean and sanitized off-site kitchen, where each meal is individually packed and ready, versus prepping bulk-meals in an open-air cafeteria space.
Lounge-Like Common Areas
Pre-COVID, ambient office lounges gave team members an escape from their desks and the chance to socialize, get some quiet time, or switch up the mood.
When we return to the office, these common areas will have adopted stringent social distancing policies. Limited seating per table, socially-distant groups, and lots of disinfecting will be the norm for office common areas.
These office perks won’t dissipate after COVID, but they certainly will take on a new look.