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‘Hotel-style’ amenities are changing the shape of the office and FM teams have to be aware

By James Massey, Managing Director of Facilities Management, MRI Software

There is no question that hybrid working is here to stay, but flexible work alone doesn’t guarantee that people will come into the office. And attracting people – especially younger employees – back into the office remains critical. After all, it is where face-to-face collaboration, information-sharing, learning, mentoring and the development of the right company culture flourish.

Companies are looking to shape workplaces that attract and retain the very best people – and it is especially important for young talent. A global Deloitte survey in 2022 showed that some 46% of Gen Zers and 45% of Millennials reported feeling burned out due to their work environment.

The steps businesses are taking to entice people into the office need to be on the radar of Facilities Managers, as they impact how FM teams manage, maintain, clean and secure offices. We are now seeing ‘hotel-style’ amenities and user-friendly work tools emerging as a vital part of the employer playbook for winning over staff, according to recent research commissioned by MRI Software.

Amenities sought by the modern workforce

The MRI research showed that 64% of people now look for amenities that make for a much more eclectic workplace. A survey of 6,000+ consumers in the US, UK and Australia unveiled a new tier of compelling ‘hotel-style’ amenities that mark out the revamped workspaces. Survey respondents reported looking for:

• facilities and areas for socialising (28%)
• onsite café/cafeteria/restaurant (28%)
• outside space/green space (26%)
• a gym (21%)
• changing and shower facilities (15%)
• and bicycle storage (13%)

Another emerging tier included technology-enabled amenities that boost efficiency and collaboration in the hybrid working world:

• hotdesking, bookable meeting rooms, and break-out meeting spaces (24%)
• smart conferencing tools (15%)
• and 24/7 access (19%)

The survey results show that the younger the employee, the more likely they are to want these types of amenities, which could make a huge difference in the recruitment and retention of skilled people moving forward:

• over a third (34%) of respondents see amenities as crucial factors after the nature of the job itself
• an additional 19% said they are “critical” to deciding whether to work at a job or not
• a further 11% said, “If an employer doesn’t have a lot of these things, I’m not interested.”

Changing the office for a changing workforce

Having an office where people want to work remains crucial, even in the age of hybrid working. The research revealed that only 15% of employees want to work at home every day – with younger people wanting to work in the office more often than older workers. But it is clear the office will look much different than before the pandemic. As a result, FM teams need to consider their approach to cleaning, maintenance, and security.

PropTech tools, such as booking systems, sensors, desk screens and mobile apps, help companies to understand and manage the individual office user experience. Similarly, landlords can use these types of technologies to reshape workspaces to meet the changing needs of their commercial tenants. These technologies lead to a very different structure and feel for each office, and FM teams need to evolve to reflect and deal with these changes.

FM teams themselves are adopting more digital technologies that signal when equipment needs to be maintained or upgraded – or even simply when a shared space or screen needs to be cleaned for the next user. Sensor- and data-informed actions are increasingly replacing fixed-calendar approaches to maintenance and upgrades. Overall, using digital tools and smart data to understand the needs of operators and occupiers better enables facilities managers to make smart decisions and excel in the face of changing requirements.

If you want to find out more about how you could take advantage of the latest FM trends to improve the efficiencies in your organisation and make more informed decisions, contact MRI Software.

E: EMEASales@mrisoftware.com
W: www.mrisoftware.com/uk/


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