Even before companies scrambled to create a reliable work-from-home setup at the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, there was a steady increase in demand for workplace design within residential and hospitality development.
Now it is doubly important for hotels and apartments to plan for work and study space within their amenity lineup. Work space is the already-hot amenity that is now getting even more attention.
The pandemic has set in motion a widespread adoption of the work-from-home lifestyle. Even as businesses reopen, the risks of contracting the virus are increasing. Many are choosing to continue to work from home and take advantage of the convenience and safety it offers.
Even once the pandemic winds down, working from home will continue to grow in popularity. Working from home can provide greater flexibility, a better work-life balance, increased productivity, less stress, and removes commuting from your schedule.
Admittedly, working from home is not without its disadvantages. Too much time alone in a home office can get old quick. In order to avoid the stifling confines of a personal home office, many have turned to co-working spaces as an alternative.
The rapidly growing amount of co-working spaces has begun to reach multifamily and hospitality developments where the need for convenient work-from-home options with the benefits of co-working spaces are a highly sought after amenity. Co-working spaces provide business opportunities, professional addresses and lobbies, meeting rooms, and day offices to residents at a proximity to home that can’t be beat.
An Outdoor Office Revolution
Among the many advantages of outdoor spaces is slower transmission of the virus. It is easier to provide safe and usable work environments with social distancing outside a building. With better air circulation, the likelihood of spreading the virus goes down.
From now on, a key part of work-from-home amenities will be outdoor work space. Outdoor work space provides a unique opportunity for creative solutions to working with others during a pandemic. Industry leaders in site furnishings and lighting have crafted several great solutions for healthy outdoor spaces. These solutions can function well for current needs, and you can adapt them for future use when coronavirus concerns fade.
In addition to providing safety during the pandemic, outdoor work spaces offer many benefits. Time spent outside can boost creativity, increase focus and productivity, and promote good physical and mental health. For urban apartment dwellers there’s little wonder why an outdoor office environment is so attractive.
At a resort, guests spend most of their time away from the guest room in outdoor spaces, creating great opportunities for outdoor working. Guests can have business meetings in a beautiful outdoor environment and take in some impressive views. Or they can grab a snack and catch up on some work while the kids play in the pool. You are supporting the guest experience when you incorporate planned out spaces for a guest to setup a quick workstation outside near other amenities.
Work-from-Home Amenity Design
With over a decade of combined workplace design experience, our Loft Six Four team understands how to best incorporate work from home amenities into your multifamily or hospitality amenity offerings.
As we have designed several student housing projects we have noted how important it is for students to have places outside where they can study and get school work done. Our team has been involved in the design of nearly every technical college campus in the state of Utah, along with extensive work for two major universities. The current generation of students are wanting more study and co-working space near their living quarters. This is in some cases replacing the more elaborate resort-style amenities of the previous decade.
Upon graduating, these students will enter the multifamily market with the same expectation for quality outdoor work environments close to home. Multifamily developers should be prepared to meet this demand.
At the onset of the Silicon Slopes building boom, some outdoor space was included for the multitude of tech offices popping up throughout the region. With few exceptions, however, these outdoor spaces have been limited in scope. Some buildings were speculative, while others left most of the programmed amenity space nearly blank for tenant improvements.
The surge in Silicon Slopes office construction has unfortunately moved too fast for the inclusion of outdoor office amenities on par with those found in the Silicon Valley. With companies opting out of providing many on site office amenities, a significant gap is forming. As multifamily developments continue to get built to meet the housing shortage in the area, outdoor work-from-home amenities can be a key differentiator. Likewise, hoteliers should consider providing co-working and meeting space to attract business travelers to the area.
The Bottom Line
Home office and co-working space is the amenity to include in your next hotel or apartment. As people spend more time working from home, outdoor amenities formerly provided at college campuses and office parks will move to multifamily and hospitality developments.
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