January 3, 2017

Work is no longer 9-5. The 21st century workforce is as dynamic as the technological, societial and economic forces that influence it. For years, offices have been designed around these trends, as open concepts reflect increased connectivity. Similarly, tenant amenities are a direct result of the blurred work-life balance of yesteryear. Recent conversations with property owners and managers confirm that amentities and dynamic landscape spaces are an ever increasing trend. This “amenities arms race” is an answer to the evolving concept of work as well as the demand to recruit and retain talent.

Amenities are even more impactful in a globalized labor force. Northeast Ohio property owners have to lure tenants, who in turn have to lure employees to Cleveland. It goes far beyond which bank of our beloved crooked river. In this light, one west side property owner shed light on the gravity of the arms race mentality to keep up with local (Westlake), regional (Beachwood), national (Chicago) and international (Toronto) competition.

A separate west-side developer pointed to the planned senior living community, with its on-site amenities, as an example for future office parks. This is supported by commercial real estate studies that recommend a dramatic increase in portfolio space allocated to amenities in order to keep up with tenant demand.

In the amenities arms race, commercial landscaping offers solutions to add asset value beyond traditional curb appeal. Northeast Ohio weather may not be entirely conducive to rooftop gardens, but we can still create outdoor spaces that accent what makes our region special. Landscaping amentities should be designed, built and maintained around our vibrant seasons. The versitility of landscape amenities add value individually or as complients to other indoor amenities like gyms (jogging trails) and cafes (outdoor dining).

Consider an outdoor kitchen so tenants can host employee cookouts. Even a sheltered area for employees to dine on food truck cuisine could work. A patio with a gas fire pit instead of a water feature offers more functionality and less maintenance. Wellness amenities like jogging paths and nature trails enable employees to recharge their productivity batteries. A raised vegetable garden is an option to satisfy the growing farm-to-table trend. Activities like bocce ball and putting greens break up the daily grind and are another way millenials in particular break the traditional work-life barrier. The point is, the marketplace is rapidly changing, so too should your concept of workplace amenities.

For more information, contact Kyle Maurer, Vice President of Brian-Kyles at kmaurer@briankyles.com, 440-934-4024 or visit www.briankyles.com



Category: Featured

Tags: Brian-Kyles, Featured Article, Landscape