In recent years, physical amenities have become an imperative perk to differentiate your property’s experience, but the rise of COVID-19 has shifted consumer behavior and the role of the workplace (check out our post on Top 10 COVID-Safe Amenities). Soon, pressure for employees to return to the office full time will ease and it will be up to landlords to create a differentiated foundation for programming, engagement, and collaboration that tenants not only want to return to but cannot be replicated at home. The traditional definition of amenities will expand to support lifestyles – both in and outside the property – and successful future perks will be a blend of digital offerings and experiential environments, as our teammate Holly Williamson recently shared with the New York Real Estate Journal

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Leading Regional Trends: NortheastSoutheastCentralWest
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Northeast: Urban Convenience

Even post-pandemic, urban hubs in the Northeast will still value convenience in their workplace offerings. From secure bike rooms to commute-tracking apps, the focus will be on ease of experience, as much as safety. With public transit still a concern, offices should consider adding perks like an Uber allowance or electric scooter rentals for alternative transportation options. Landlords might even consider offering additional square footage in satellite buildings to give tenants and employees more flexibility in where they go to work, providing a dedicated network rather than a dedicated office. Consider conducting tenant surveys to understand your commute breakdown to provide more relevant offerings.

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Southeast: Foodie Focus

The foodie culture of the South will need to be reimagined in the wake of the pandemic. Landlords will need to get creative to offer a differentiated food and beverage experience for their tenants, with safety in mind. Consider win-win partnerships with local restaurants, food trucks, catering apps like Relish, and even cloud kitchens, to offer employees unique, localized food offerings in a more controlled environment. Create dedicated drop-off zones for food delivery with warming drawers, refrigerators, and disposable utensils to reduce touches and streamline the process. 

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Central: All Season Entertainment

Now that tenants have been forced to embrace the working from home experiment, the role of the office is shifting. While heads-down work can easily be accomplished at home, the office will be need to be transformed into a social destination – an experiential hub for brands, dedicated to hosting clients, encouraging employee engagement, and facilitating teammate collaboration – and amenities will need to follow suit.  Consider creating more elevated, year-round spaces that can flex depending on the occasion and get employees excited about an excuse to return to the office. 

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West: Wandering Wellness

A healthy lifestyle is nothing new in this region, but a renewed focus on holistic, outdoor wellness will reign supreme in the coming years. Create differentiated amenities like hiking trails, dedicated meditation areas, or artificial turf for multi-purpose events and activities, to allow your tenants to unwind and recharge in a safe environment. If you’re short on square footage, consider app subscriptions for on-demand content like Headspace, LulaFit, or Peloton.

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Working with you, to get you back to work

SPARC: Space Planning & Assessment in Response to COVID

As we collectively transition into the next phase of COVID-19 containment, we’re here to guide you through the process of assessing your space based on your company’s approach to returning to your workplace. Our tiered service packs allow you to quickly assess your needs and identify what’s right for you.

Learn more COVID-19 Resources

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Featured Project: Nomad Tower

We reimagined this 39-story building in New York City’s upcoming neighborhood known as NoMad, located north of Madison Square. Elevated amenity spaces including a private lounge complete with ping pong, pool table, and arcade games. In addition, tenants can take advantage of a conference room, 200-person amphitheater, fitness center, private coffee bar, and New York’s largest bicycle storage and bicycle access to an office building.

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See full project details  View Asset Strategy

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Return to Work Survey

Evolving Workforce Expectations

Learn more about NELSON Worldwide’s proprietary research study on emerging employee expectations to better determine the impact COVID-19 has had on work environments and employee engagement. We uncover insights that will help drive your re-entry strategy and provide support and context for future decisions.

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