It’s no secret that the working environment has a tangible impact on a person’s mood and general well-being. When people are happy with their surroundings, their focus improves and productivity increases. As commercial real estate investors, it’s our responsibility to create a positive atmosphere for our employees and our tenants from the moment they enter the building.
Beyond the basics of security, maintenance and equipment, what more can you do to create a positive working space for your team and your tenants?
1. Pay Attention to Aesthetics
The aesthetics of a working space should not be overlooked. Not only does a beautiful and tastefully appointed office attract and retain tenants, but it also boosts worker morale. Studies have conclusively shown that adding splashes of specific colours has a positive impact on mood and productivity. While a mixture of softer textures and rounded-edges help create a more comfortable, calm environment that can help combat the stresses of the daily grind.
Lighting also plays an influential role in creating a positive workplace. Daylight is a natural mood enhancer, which not only boosts creativity but positively impacts an individual’s quality of sleep, activity, and health.
2. Well-being Facilities
No, we’re not talking about providing free on-site yoga classes! Buildings that facilitate the healthy lifestyle of users have a higher tenant retention rate. One strategy you can implement for a productive, healthy environment is to make your property cyclist-friendly.
Providing safe bike storage and access to freight elevators if necessary, allows users to have a healthy commute to and from work. Adding shower facilities will enable cyclists, lunchtime runners or fitness fanatics to freshen up before they head back to their workstations.
Encouraging exercise before work not only results in a healthier workforce, but the endorphin release facilitated by strenuous exercise helps employees to feel happier and less stressed, creating a pleasant environment in which to work.
3. Go Green
Eco-centric workplaces boost staff productivity while saving money for you and your tenants at the same time. Adding plants and flowers improves indoor air quality and adds organic character instantly brightening up a room. Numerous studies have shown that greenery in the workplace reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and even helps increase attentiveness in a world full of digital and other distractions.
Another green-tactic is to install a sustainable heating and ventilation system. An enhanced ventilation system which can maintain a pleasant and comfortable working environment means workers are much less irritable!
4. Communal Open Spaces
Communal spaces where staff and tenants can socialise and relax help create a positive work community. Having centralised office support services like copy centres, mailrooms, kitchens, and break rooms encourages staff to venture out of their office and interact with their colleagues. Many offices also have recreation areas replete with distractions such as table tennis or foosball tables to help staff let off steam, or simply take a few minutes to unwind. In larger office buildings, on-site coffee shops, dining options and lounge areas can also add rental appeal to your property and extra value to tenants.
5. Quiet Spaces
The modern open office layout design trend has some excellent benefits. However, it also comes with the dreaded background noise, the inescapable hustle and bustle and lack of privacy. Increased stress, interference with focus and productivity, and lower morale are just a few side effects open office background noise and activity can induce.
While open-plan offices and co-working spaces can increase collaboration and team interaction, there must be a balance. Some tenants will require access to more private areas, especially if their business requires a degree of confidentiality. By providing small ‘private call rooms’ or workstations away from the main office hubbub, you can cater to all business types.
Giving a choice of workspaces filled with light, colour, and greenery, and the ability to be healthier and happier means a positive physical, social, and cultural workplace for all!