The workplace is changing, and as an office building investor it makes sense to keep up with the times. Just as residential property owners are breaking down walls to create open concept spaces in the home, commercial real estate owners are reinventing their office buildings inside and out to attract tenants.
Architectural trends in the workplace are driven by today’s modern technology that blurs the line between an employee’s work, home and social life. Office buildings are beginning to reflect this new reality with architectural design features that highlight flexibility that supports collaboration, learning, and socializing as well as focusing. A fifth work mode, rejuvenation, is trending as well. Employees expect less structure, adding to the impetus toward more flexible workspaces.
Image Source: Grenettes Architecture
When you consider renovating your office building to make it more appealing to tenants, determine the types of businesses you are trying to attract and then set the tone. Your professional property manager can guide you in making the right choices for your office building to promote faster rentals, incur lower maintenance costs and provide the greatest return on your investment. Smart renovation ideas can also increase the resale value of your property when it’s time to sell.
- Play to the Audience
Ultimately, you want a design that attracts tenants who are looking for office space that reflects the brand message of their business. More traditional architectural elements project a feeling of quality, while contemporary design can signal innovation. Library-inspired work spaces are used in industries like financial advisory to create warmth by incorporating wood paneling, fine cabinetry, quality rugs and classic furnishings. At the other end of the spectrum, modern office designs provide a sleek and streamlined look with neutral tones and textures to soften sharp edges. Contemporary office design is common in creative fields like advertising and can be used to conserve space. Strategic use of color helps to elicit the desired response in the client, so use blue for a feeling of calmness, black or red to indicate strength, and yellow or orange for excitement.
- Improve your Curb Appeal
Aside from location, location, location, striking curb appeal can go a long way in making your office building attractive to tenants. Keep in mind that you never get another chance to make a positive first impression. The right ratio of perimeter space to the interior area, professional landscaping, an emphasis on desirable views and special features like fountains all play a role. An inviting entry with dramatic architectural elements including generous ceiling heights, a multi-story atrium and plenty of glass to admit natural light add to the appeal. Ample parking space is a must for a suburban environment.
- Think Outside of the Cubicle
An overabundance of cube offices and sharp angles used to be the norm, but more open, flexible multipurpose workspaces are now trending in interior office design. Expansive areas and modular layouts provide room for unassigned workspaces, multimedia presentations and larger community tables that encourage collaboration. The result is an environment that feels more relaxed and congenial. This is especially important to younger workers who appreciate a more casual atmosphere that allows them to interact with their co-workers. Curved edges and circular design features project a less rigid feeling and encourage the chance encounters that lead to spontaneous work experiences and increase productivity in the long run.
- Let the Outdoors In
The mood-enhancing effects of light are well known, and studies show that light also lowers blood pressure and allows workers to complete computer tasks more quickly. Indoor/outdoor office spaces are ideal for workers who want to reflect on the task at hand and focus their attention on their work. Whenever possible, office renovations can make the most of natural light by taking down walls, enlarging windows and rearranging workspaces to maximize outdoor views. Commercial real estate investors are also bringing the outside in with plants and floral patterns in art and fabrics. Organic elements like stone, metal, brick and glass add to the natural look.
- Reinvent the Break Room
Employees love their breaks, as evidenced by the long-standing tradition of casual conversations around the water cooler. Commercial real estate investors can attract savvy tenants who want office space that encourages employees to engage with one another. Connected workers are more invested in their job and more imaginative in executing their responsibilities. Today’s break rooms are trending toward a casual café ambiance that forms an inviting space for chance encounters with co-workers. This interaction can lead to more innovative approaches in executing job responsibilities and ultimately boost productivity.
Gain Property Management offers professional property management services to commercial and residential investors. We are a licensed and insured property management company offering full service and advanced technology self-management capabilities to provide flexibility to our clients.