Courtesy of Active Wellness, LLC
Active Wellness worked on this relaxing space. Offering office-based amenities that employees can’t easily replicate at home is a great way to entice people to return to the office.

BOMA 2023 Preview: How the Office Becomes a Destination

June 16, 2023
Does your office building have the right amenities to draw people back? Take these four considerations into account when you’re weighing which amenities to create.
As companies finalize their return-to-work strategies, some are finding resistance from employees accustomed to working at home. One way to motivate people to return is to offer convenience in the form of amenities they can’t easily replicate in a home setting. But how can you be sure your office building has the right amenities in place?

Find your solution at the 2023 BOMA International Conference & Expo, where amenity providers are ready to help building owners and managers figure out what would fit their tenants’ employees best.

“We’re seeing corporate customers where amenities alleviate some staffing challenges they might have in getting workers back into the facility,” said Austin Maddox, vice president of parcel lockers, North America, for Quadient, a nearly 100-year-old company that’s preparing to exhibit at BOMA for the fourth time. “Whether it’s staffing or incentivizing employees to come back, those things are working in parallel, and amenities are right in the center of that. That’s the way you’re going to motivate the employees to come back to work.”

Do You Have the Right Amenities in Place?

Determining whether your building has the correct amenities is difficult, and employees’ preferences can change over time. Yesterday’s hot amenity may not be used much today, signaling that it’s time for a change.

“It’s always a challenging question. You want a nice broad amenity—something that attracts people to your organization, something that’s cool and creates a real differentiator,” Maddox said. “But if the amenity never gets used, then as cool as it sounded on paper when you were sitting in the boardroom talking about it, it doesn’t have the level of impact you thought.”

That’s where data comes into play. You need to be able to track usage somehow, either directly at the amenity level (for example, by requiring badge access and counting the number of times people badged in) or by surveying employees to validate the amenity’s performance, Maddox recommended.

You can even put data to work for you before the amenity is designed, which can save you money you might otherwise waste on an amenity few will use. Arch Amenities Group, a hospitality-fused amenity solution and longtime exhibitor at BOMA, uses psychographic profiling to figure out the needs of your building’s population and recommends amenities and services accordingly.

“You’re trying to create the right spaces for the right consumer,” explained Mike Flanagan, chief growth officer for Arch Amenities Group. “It gets back to this idea of thinking of the end user as a customer. If you look at the retail world, that’s all they focus on—who’s my end user? What services do they want? What’s the price point they want it at? What’s the convenience factor? We’re having to do that now in CRE.”

4 Key Considerations for Tenant Amenities

Cost isn’t the only driver of amenity choice. Take these factors into account when you’re weighing new amenities to install.
  • Employee information: “Demographics, work schedules and interests are all important things to assess when looking into your current amenities,” said Michele Wong, COO of Active Wellness, which provides fitness and wellness management and consulting services and has exhibited at the BOMA show since 2018. “You have to know your clientele, their patterns and their interests.”
  • Space: How much space can you dedicate to amenities, and what will you give up to obtain that footprint? “If you put in a putting green, do you have to tell five people they no longer have dedicated offices? What’s the impact to those five people?” asked Maddox.
  • Flexibility: Can your amenities do double duty? “If they’re not transcending and you’re not thinking about a more well-rounded approach, you’re going to pigeonhole yourself into an amenity package that’s only focused on one small segment of your population,” Flanagan said.
  • Measurability: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,” said Sharon Tzvielli, head of marketing for Visitt, an AI-driven building operations and tenant experience platform that can be used to manage amenities. Visitt is preparing to exhibit at BOMA for the second time. “You need to be able to answer questions like, are amenities being booked? Are they being utilized? Are you receiving value from them? What are the costs to maintain that looking forward? If you’re charging people, is the price point correct? What sort of workforce resources do you need to manage that amenity effectively? And the ultimate question, has it moved the needle in terms of tenant satisfaction and retention? If not, that’s your ultimate red flag.”
Go into the expo floor with a game plan, Wong recommends. Take your time to gather information and contacts that could help solve your amenity quandaries.

“Connect, meet new people and don’t be afraid to ask questions,” Wong advised. “It’s a good idea to come up with a short list of products and services you absolutely need to look at and consider scheduling time in advance with those vendors. Leave time to do a thorough walk-through of the expo to see if there’s anything you didn’t think about before that piques your interest on the floor.”

Have you registered for the 2023 BOMA International Conference & Expo yet? Click here to sign up!

About the Author

Janelle Penny | Editor-in-Chief at BUILDINGS

Janelle Penny has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with a special emphasis on covering facilities management. She aims to deliver practical, actionable content for facilities professionals.

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