Creative Offices = Employee Retention
Want to attract the best employees? You have to think beyond the passé and toward the extraordinary. So what do you need? We'll tell you at our Bisnow Creative Office Summit on July 31 at the Westin Galleria. Panelists will talk about such amenities as these:
1) Admirals Club
Velocis co-founder Jim Yoder (left, with colleagues Paul Smith, Fred Hamm, David Seifert, and Mike Lewis in this annual report-worthy lineup) tells us a unique office environment is critical. When Velocis Fund 1 acquired 3131 McKinney in Uptown last year, renovations included a tenant lounge that's like the American Airlines Admirals Club. When law firm Wick Phillips recently inked its deal, the firm’s architect used that lounge as the basis for a similar space within his client's offices for use by its employees.
Tenant appeal goes beyond the floorplates, Mike says. The lounge is a 1,000-SF space with indoor and outdoor seating, WiFi, three flat-screen TVs, free snacks (who can resist Goldfish and lemonade?), and special events like World Cup watching parties. Plus, building property manager Lincoln Property Co organizes food trucks to come every Friday, which keeps employees entertained and close to work for more productivity.
2) Pleasant Environment
Competing for top quality talent (outside of salary and benefits) comes down to creating a work environment where people like to be, says Cresa Dallas managing principal Susan Arledge (with Colliers International's Allen Gump). As new companies relocate to DFW, there’s going to be increased competition for skilled labor, Susan says. Those people (like computer engineers and software programmers) will be able to choose where they want to work and an attractive work environment will play a huge part.
Here's Susan with colleagues Eric Padilla and Evan Stair on the balcony that wraps around the office in the highly desirable Preston Center submarket. The space has a kitchen and bar area in the center of the office that encourages interaction (and maybe a gin and tonic). It features long rows of private areas where doors can shut, but also space for colleagues to see one another and get together.
4) Wide Open Spaces
Tenants want an efficient floor plate that fits their needs, Susan says, but usually prefer a more open environment (maybe not as wide and open as a Dixie Chicks song). They still like some privacy—but with adjacent collaborative spaces. Some of the configurations Susan has seen include groups of four desks with a workspace in the middle, so staffers can simply roll their chairs over to the collaborative space when they need to come together.
5) Feng Shui
Feng Shui (the ancient Chinese art of placement to promote harmony, wealth, success and health) can be used in the office to design spaces that create prosperity, Susan says. That can include the influence of the colors and types of materials as well as the way people enter the space. The entry is critical because it is through the main door that the office absorbs its feng shui energy. In theory, when an office has good energy circulating, the people who work there experience higher levels of well-being, Susan tells us. (We sometimes feel better when we exit work.)