The working environment is no longer just a place for work. With the factors around work/life balance and wellbeing, it’s evolved into a place which includes socialising, destressing and downtime. The goal is to design and create an office space where staff can feel not only engaged, but also healthy and happy.
This change has marked the rise of amenities within modern-day workspaces. Employees want an array of onsite amenities to help improve collaboration and productivity, as well as boost their health and wellbeing.
Creating spaces for the employee, not the employer
In the decade ahead, the workplace will become an employee-driven idea, with amenities to meet the demands of the 2020 workforce.
According to research, more than 60 per cent of employees believe that workplace perks and amenities have equal importance. In working environments of the past, this concept would have been something of fiction – perks ruled the roost for keeping employees happy in their roles, not what was in the office.
The leaders of this movement? The next generation of our workforce. Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of millennials, defined by being under the age of 35, place more importance on the amenities offered within a workspace, over the perks offered by the employer. The modern-day amenity has almost become yesterday’s employee perk.
Alongside that, the rise of co-working spaces for freelancer and the self-employed has spurred the need for high-quality shared amenities and influenced having these included in the flexible working environments.
This showcases the direction in which office environments are moving. Amenity-rich spaces are becoming the norm to support the wants and needs of today’s workforce.
Introducing the right workplace amenities
As we see the workplace evolve, the questions to be asked by employers is how to have the right amenities for workforce to make the most out of. Amenities must appeal to all types of employees, not just the generation which places most importance on them.
In research conducted by Gensler, there are certain amenities that provide high levels of effectiveness and experience within the workplace. Innovation was the leader, offering the best results for both points, however employees have found the likes of break-out spaces, work cafes and quiet zones to be the most sought-after amenities.
It’s not about having amenities for the sake of it – if that was the case, all commercial spaces would need to be completely reimagined. Instead, employers (and developers) need to choose the amenities for working environments that will bring most value to the employees working there.
Take breakout spaces, for example. Recent times have seen workers wanting to take meetings away from the boardroom and office floor and into areas which don’t have the same pressurised feel. This then becomes a key amenity for the modern workplace, whether it’s the ability to access an onsite café for staff to ‘grab five’ in or an extra seating area way from the floorplate
Wellbeing at work
Healthy, happy employees are the prize asset of any business. The importance of supporting a workforce’s physical and mental wellbeing is now recognised more than ever before – a survey from the Confederation of British Industry, in partnership with Bupa and HCA Healthcare, found that almost two-thirds of companies viewed workplace health and wellbeing as an important business issue.
Having amenities which relate to wellbeing are no longer a “nice to have” for employees – it has become a ‘must-have’ for the workforce of today. With the pressure of modern-day working environments and the expected rising in retirement age, employers must take responsibility to ensuring staff wellbeing is being protected, both from mental and physical standpoint.
Greenspace must be seen as a multi-functional amenity, offering employees the chance to escape the office and take in the natural environment to aid their wellbeing. It too can act as a space for exercise and activity, whether it be running clubs or having the ability to cycle to work.
A commercial space with amenities at its heart
A blueprint designed with high-quality amenities in abundance, Kirkstall Forge understands the needs of the modern-day workforce.
The award-winning Number One building offers occupiers an array of high-quality amenities to support their workforce. Butler’s, the onsite kitchen and bar, provides workers with the ability to remove themselves from the working floorplate, whilst breakout spaces and bookable meeting rooms are key features in the commercial building.
Our next office space in Leeds, 2, Kirkstall Forge, has also been designed with rich amenities at forefront of mind too. A new café, kitchen and bar space will be created for employees within the building to use as a socialising, informal space, whilst a breakout space and business lounge allowing for meetings to be taken outside of the office.
Two will also feature a roof top terrace, eliminating the ideology of “biggest business at the top” and creating an outdoor amenity for everyone to enjoy. With core and flexible workspaces available in these new offices in Leeds, amenities have been designed to be shared by all occupiers and tenants.
As part of the wider Kirkstall Forge development, amenities such as a gym, independent convenience store and pop-up restaurant will feature to help build a strong community outside of the workplace.