Commercial real estate has entered an age of technology. Co-working spaces and remote and contract employees are becoming more commonplace. It has never been more important for companies who want to retain talent to provide their employees with office amenities. This is especially true if you want your talent to work in an office. Creating any office amenity, even on a budget, will help to attract and retain quality employees.
One of the most popular amenities is outdoor space. Employees enjoy having the opportunity to brainstorm during walks, sit outside during lunch, and stave off work-related blues with a quick retreat to nature. It has been scientifically proven that employees working in an environment that incorporates natural elements are happier, healthier, and perform better.
However, as millennials continue to take over the majority of the workforce, commercial and residential development is booming in urban areas that lack many outdoor green spaces. So, how can you create an outdoor office amenity without breaking the bank or your lease?
Even if you don’t have outdoor green space, grilling out on a patio or even in the parking lot can be great. Bring the team together over classic summer food and a sunny day. Turn a few employees into “grill masters” and compare grilling tips. Encourage other employees to take part by contributing to a side dish and dessert potluck. If you have access to a private patio, consider keeping the grill there for the remainder of the season. Allow employees to grill their own burgers and hot dogs during lunch breaks.
Secondly, provide your employees with some outdoor entertainment for breaks. Rather than sitting in the break room, get them up and moving with an outdoor game like bean bag toss, ladder ball, or even giant Jenga. If you have a roof deck, patio, or outdoor parking lot, store the games indoors. Give employees the option to take them out and challenge each other during breaks.
If you don’t have outdoor space, bring the outdoor games in. For instance, transform a spare meeting room into a game room. Or, partition off a section of the break room for game use. Create an employee bracket and see who comes out on top as the ultimate bean toss champion!
If you work in a space that has a garage door, roll it up on sunny days and let in some fresh air. If you’re concerned about pests, consider having a screen installed. Think about setting out patio furniture. That way, employees can roll up the garage and enjoy the weather during their breaks or in-house meetings.
Another option involves talking to your landlord. Ask there is a floor in your building where they might knock down some walls and construct an outdoor balcony. This is a more long-term solution. However, as outdoor space continues to become more of an essential amenity, landlords may be more open to the idea. They may even include it as part of their tenant improvement allowances.
Roll-up putting greens in the office are an easy and classic solution to the break room activity problem. Newer to the scene are golf simulators. Think roll-up putting green with a screen in front. These simulators may be used outdoors or indoors and project real golf courses right in front of the putting green for a more innovative and authentic experience. Challenge the office to a match over lunch or make a day-long event of it.
If you don’t have access to any outdoor space, bring the outdoors in. Research has shown that incorporating biophilic design into your office space can have amazing health, attitude, and quality of work benefits for your team members.
Biophilic design is a new trend in architecture and interior design. It is an office amenity that incorporates natural materials and elements into buildings. These natural materials or elements may be the use of wood, organic shapes, vegetation, natural light, views of nature, and other experiences of the natural world. They are a part of a building or workplace’s overall design.
Incorporating biophilic practices on a budget can be as simple as using more plants in the office’s décor, replacing fluorescent light bulbs with options that better mimic natural light, or opening windows to let in the fresh air.
Creating an office amenity without breaking the bank may seem overwhelming. However, even by taking small steps like these, you’ll create a noticeable difference in the work environment and a more positive atmosphere for your employees.