By: David C. Smith, Vice President, Americas Head of Occupier Research
This is the second installment of a five part series.
Everyone, it would seem, is focused on experience as a differentiator in their business. Customer experience. User experience. Employee experience. Customer experience is the way that retail stores are competing with eCommerce disruption. Technology firms obsess over user experience to ensure intuitive software is pleasurable and personal.
Companies engaged in a historically competitive employment market are using how employees experience the workspace as a way to attract and retain talent, as well as to create cultures that drive innovation and excellence. The office employee’s experience is not just a function of their supervisor and human resources. It is also very much dependent upon the nature and quality of the office itself: the building, the neighborhood, and the office space. To that end, occupiers and landlords alike are searching for the right mix of amenities to create a great place for employees to work and thrive.
Traditional amenities—such as fitness centers, conference facilities, parking, and food options—continue to be base needs for corporate occupiers and their employees. Buildings need to provide nearby access to these items. The amenities that really wow are more creative offerings such as entertainment (think bowling alleys and golf simulators) and usable outdoor space that adds a touch of nature to the workday. Additionally, technology amenities are growing in both prevalence and importance.
Younger workers have grown up in a world awash in technology, and workers of all ages have become accustomed to technology solving for all of their personal and professional challenges. At the same time, venture capital investment in office technology (i.e., PropTech) has grown four-fold over the past four years. This is a creating an environment where the supply and demand of various PropTech offerings are increasing dramatically at the same time. And, one of the benefits of technology amenities—unlike physical amenities—is the ability to implement them at any building regardless of location, neighborhood, or building class.
Cushman & Wakefield’s new Space Matters report delves deeply into the topic of office amenities, with analysis of the growing expectation for physical and service amenities as well as the increasing opportunity for broader implementation of technology amenities. The occupier-focused report also examines other topics that are critical to tenants across the United States, including office density trends, parking ratios and costs, and concession forecasts.
To read the whole report and learn more about all of these occupier trends, click here.
 According to PitchBook data, investments in PropTech increased from approximately $523 million in 2013 to nearly $2 billion in 2017.
David Smith is the Vice President, Americas Head of Occupier Research. He produces occupier thought leadership content for the Research Center of Excellence and directs a program of market presentations, written analysis, surveys, forecasts, and data collection that supports Global Occupier Services and the brokerage business, as well as advance the strategic plan in Americas Research.