Monday, July 01, 2013

What Office Workers Want

Occupant needs have changed drastically since BOMA International last conducted an office tenant survey. Hoteling, for one, was barely a whisper in 1999. So we grabbed the results from the 2013 BOMA Global Office Tenant Survey. (A great addition to your kids' summer reading lists.) Here's what new tenants demand.

1. Great Customer Service

Three of the top five factors influencing overall tenant satisfaction areservice related: property management, property managementcommunication, and maintenance and engineering, says Kingsley Associates VP Phil Mobley, whose firm conducted the survey in the US, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. One way to increase overall tenant satisfaction is to add health and hygiene amenities, he says. (That's why we always pocket free samples of hand sanitizer.) The survey found tenants in corporate and mixed-use facilities to be the most satisfied.

2. Love

"Giving great service doesn't cost a lot of money," says The WOW! Awards chief executive Derek Williams (with JLL National Head of Customer Service, Australia Peter Merrett). "When you make a connection, that impact can be great." But you can't have happy customers without happy employees. (Smiles can come cheap, too.) Peter says the simplest details can give someone a sense of pride—say thank you every day, not just periodically.

Derek played a game of "Would You Rather?" with attendees, who held up a red or green piece of paper depending on their answers. Questions ranged from the lighthearted (would you rather beintelligent but ugly, or be beautiful and dim?) to customer-service related (would you rather have a happy customer or a happy employee?).

3. Versatile Space

50% of offices and workspaces are unoccupied at any given time, aGensler study has found. "But people still want a space that matters," says the firm's director of workplace consulting Bob Peck(right, with CBRE global director of corporate social responsibilityDave Pogue). That means accommodating different work modes:focusingsocializinglearning, and collaboration. Dave adds that tenants are also looking for a sense of community.
Click the video to hear BOMA International prez Henry Chamberlaingive his take on tenant requirements and preferences. Fun fact from the survey: Canadians are not as concerned with image; they prefer being near public transpiration and green. Americans, on the other hand, are all about that prestige.
2013 BOMA Global Office Tenant Survey
2013 BOMA Global Office Tenant Survey
The office market outlook is pretty darned positive from the tenant perspective. 42% of survey respondents saw an increase in new employees over the past year, while 37% report a stable count. (Going forward, expected numbers are 39% increasing headcount and38% stable.) Phil says more larger tenants expect full-time equivalent growth, so that may signal the beginning of the shadow market's end. (Get your yearbooks signed now, before it's too late.)

More info At: