So, what is the “connected office”? Employees no longer feel motivated by just showing up for their jobs at 8 a.m. and leaving by 5 p.m.—they want to be part of the larger surrounding community, whether that be their office community or serving charitable organizations in the area alongside their colleagues. This increased community awareness has forced office owners to look for more ways to engage their tenants beyond the traditional and generic “canned goods” collection drives that lack the elements of human connection and authenticity today’s workforce craves.
Health and wellness are other key pillars of the “connected office” experience. Office owners should be committed to the well-being of their tenants and act with their best interests in mind, through certifications such as WELL, LEED or Fitwel to help ease employee anxiety.
Why should property managers care?
With the “connected office” model, tenants are also looking for property managers to go outside the walls of the building, with amenities such as walkability, greenspace, access to external amenities like dining and shopping options, and participation in give-back or charitable events. The No. 1 request we hear from tenants is walkability outside the building and amenitization on the inside, so their office is a true destination where workers want to be, even if they are given a hybrid work model. These social touchpoints support connectivity and inspiration and help create a thriving office ecosystem. The “connected office” strengthens aspects that can be especially attractive to future talent and retain current employees, which benefits all users of an office building.
Property managers should also provide in-person or digital programming to get their tenants out of their offices and inspire collaboration in shared spaces, such as tenant lounges and breakout rooms. Landlords who make an extra effort to create connectivity and synergy within their buildings can contribute to the overall financial and personal health of their people.
How will it shape the future of the office?
Not only are employers and tenants looking for connectivity between each other and the hyperlocal community, but with the building itself. Upgrades in property technology can allow users access controls using only their phone. Apps such as SwiftConnect, an office building software platform, allow users to digitize their buildings and give tenants access to temporary spaces throughout the country.
Flexible space is also key. From large companies to smaller startups, flex office can cater to any size tenant’s needs and offers agility and attractive amenities. When office owners implement tenant engagement campaigns, foster opportunities for on-the-ground community service, upgrade their building technologies and provide flexible work arrangements, the “connected office” ecosystem creates a place where everyone wants to be, from property staff and onsite vendors to the C-suite and everyday employees. That future is now, and those who have the foresight to act first will be best positioned for the next chapter of change already underway.
Portions of this article originally appeared on the Forbes website.
The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.