Companies invest in golf simulators, wine tastings + free honey to attract workers »RealtyBizNews: Real estate news
Companies are investing in more upscale workplaces in an attempt to attract workers to the office.
They are looking to buy more spacious premises with amenities and perks such as bespoke lounges, game rooms with ping-pong and foosball tables, outdoor areas including areas with fireplaces for diners. They are also looking to renovate existing premises to add the same. In addition, many are looking to install better ventilation and sanitation systems and create apps that allow workers to contact building safety or order food.
“It all depends on how we as landlords create an environment that doesn’t give their tenants and employees any excuse not to show up,” said Jeff Eckert, Landlord Representation Manager. from JLL offices in the United States, in an interview with the the Wall Street newspaper.
Market watchers say equipment-rich office space is boosting the rebound in the commercial real estate sector. Rentals fell at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as remote working took off. The US office vacancy rate, however, is still 16.8%, the highest number since 2010, according to data from real estate firm CB Richard Ellis Group.
However, as companies seek to bring their employees back to the office, they have realized there is a need to make these workplaces more attractive than they have traditionally been.
“The summit of the summit has gone crazy,” said Mary Ann Tighe, New York region general manager of CBRE Group.
For example, at 730 Third Avenue, New York, the owner of the building, Nuveen Real Estate, is significantly modernizing the space to attract workers, Commercial Observer reported. It added outdoor decks, a dining room, and a fitness center to the place, as well as two beehives on a seventh-floor patio that will produce honey that will be offered free to all office workers. In addition, the building has a lounge area with two full swing golf simulators for those who wish to play virtual golf. The building also regularly hosts karaoke nights and wine tasting sessions, as well as electric scooters to help employees get around the premises faster.
Nuveen New York City investment manager Brian Wallick told Commercial Observer that the new equipment is all intended to make tenants more comfortable. “Certainly with what has happened in the last couple of years, you have to have equipment in your building that excites people who come back to the office.
Law firm Venable LLP is following this advice, having recently signed a five-year lease on office space in New York City so it can offer improved space to try and get its employees back. The new office includes a private balcony with views of the Empire State Building, as well as a cafeteria with a menu overseen by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer.