By Sibet Freides, Principal of Idea Associates
The “live-work-play” concept in residential real estate changed the way we thought about home. Communities that prioritized convenience and lifestyle grew in popularity, and home-buyers eagerly pursued properties that connected residential, retail, and dining options. Accessible amenities and creatively designed spaces proved to be as important to residential tenants as the features within the homes themselves.
In the commercial real estate sector, the apple doesn’t fall far from the corporate tree. Commercial tenants also want accessibility, convenience, and lifestyle options. In an era where design is as much about architecture as it is about creating an experience, the modern workplace cannot simply be defined by desk arrangement or the view from the corner office. Present-day office design has begun to fully embrace the “live-work-play” style of the residential world, and the result has been upgraded offices and happier tenants.
As a younger generation of talent enters the workforce, property managers are revamping their offices to suit the changing needs of this new demographic. These tenants want to work in places that are culture-focused with common areas designed around camaraderie. Much like residential “live-work-play” communities, the most desirable office spaces often blend comfort, accessibility and connectivity. These offices have moved away from the traditional setting to incorporate onsite amenities like cafés, fitness areas, and common spaces outfitted with stylish décor that encourages socializing. Outdoor areas, once reserved for parking lots, are also being converted into green spaces where employees can mingle and enjoy a view of the surrounding community.
Even the most creative, culture-focused offices would have a hard time retaining employees if they were located in ghost towns. That’s why choosing the right location is also an important element of office design. Capitalizing on the “live-work-play” concept that attracts new tenants and keeps retention steady means offering onsite amenities and a bridge to a thriving local community. Sometimes this could be taken literally. In an effort to give employees easier access to offsite amenities, like public transportation, Atlanta staffing firm Insight Global is building a new sky bridge from their office that connects to a nearby MARTA Station. Building and investing in office spaces near bustling urban markets allows property managers to design innovative solutions and appeal to new tenants using both in-house and exterior amenities.
The success of modern office spaces is grounded in the ease of bringing people together in a strategically designed environment. Communal spaces, amenities and location all co-exist to encourage socializing and teambuilding. As a new crop of professionals joins the workforce, property managers are incorporating qualities of the “live-work-play” concept into their office amenities. These new features bring multi-use design into the social workspace, raising morale, offering new benefits, and giving tenants a reason to come on board and stick around for the long haul.
Sibet Freides has a diverse background covering commercial, residential, multi-family and mixed-use experience. Since her start as the Marketing Director for Charles Fraser at Sea Pines, Sibet has used her keen understanding of CRE and her mastery of digital, branding, design, and content creation to create a sense of place for clients around the country. Sibet serves as a Principal of Idea Associates, a full-service digital & creative branding agency.
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