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SGA's headquarters for the Norfolk + Dedham group in Dedham, Mass.

SGA Report Outlines Emerging Trends for Workplace Amenities

April 26, 2023
The results indicate more focus on personal well-being and safety, interest in sustainable modes of transportation, convenient places to grab food and packages, and spaces that facilitate social interactions.

Multi-disciplinary firm SGA has released its 2023 Workplace Amenities Report. To help developers and employers identify the most desirable amenities for the workforce, the firm’s interior design team surveyed hundreds of employees spanning generations, locations and industries to gauge their preferences for workplace amenities across four main categories: health and wellness; productivity and meeting space; daily convenience;  transportation.

The survey was conducted over a period of four weeks in late 2022. Respondents spanned 19 states and 88% were located in the Northeast, labeling a variety of amenities as either "Must Have," "Strongly Desirable," "Somewhat Desirable" and "Not Necessary."

“The state of the workplace and workers’ needs are constantly shifting,” said SGA President of Interior Design and Partner, Gable Clarke. “While our clients know that amenities are a critical piece of boosting employee engagement, there is confusion about how robust their amenity program should be and where they should be focusing their efforts.”

Hybrid work spurred a nationwide “flight to quality” trend in commercial real estate, creating higher quality spaces and amenities that have transformed the workplace into a destination. They have become essential components of attracting employees and tenants back to the office.

The survey results show a societal shift in more of a focus on personal well-being and safety, interest in sustainable modes of transportation, convenient places to grab food and packages and spaces that facilitate social interactions.

Fifty-two percent of survey respondents were millennials, 26% were Gen X, 12% Gen Z and 10% Baby Boomers. Respondents indicated 33% go into the office 3-4 days a week, 29% go into the office 4-5 days a week, 23% go in 1-2 days and 15% only go when necessary.

The report showed that overall, the top five desired amenities are:

1. coffee shops

(87% of respondents in the daily convenience category said this is a "must-have" or "strongly desirable")

2. air purification systems

(86% of respondents in the health and wellness category said this is a "must-have" or "strongly desirable")

 3. access to outdoor space
(78% of respondents in the health and wellness category labeled this "strongly desirable") 4. grab and go pre-made breakfast and lunch options

(75% of respondents under the daily convenience category labeled this as "must have or strongly desirable)

5. quiet lounges

(72% of respondents in the productivity and meeting space category saw this as a "must have" or "strongly desirable")

Health and wellness trends also revealed that buildings with sustainable certifications and programs that promote personal wellness are also in high demand. Emerging amenities included access to healthy food and post-workout nourishment options.

Under productivity and meeting space, 64% of respondents said IT touch points at staffed tech bars to assist with general support or electronics vending machines are needed with the increased reliance on technology. Fifty-nine percent of people said a training room or all-hands meeting space is a must-have or strongly desirable. Flexible meeting spaces that support “all-hands” functions provide tenants with the space to accommodate large gatherings without a need for rentable space or also on employees' radars. Emerging trends in this category included spaces and programs that facilitate connectivity between in-person and virtual workers.

More emerging trends under daily convenience included food trucks, convenience stores and grocery/meal pickup areas or lockers and under transportation they included bike parking and repair areas and electric vehicle charging stations. Some cities are implementing quotas for EV charging stations and bike parking, which should be reflected in building amenity programs. However, parking lots and garages are still desirable for many as well as access to shuttle services for people not within walking distance to public transportation.

See below to find the full list of amenities surveyed and how participants responded to them.

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