Our team recently surveyed 300 professionals in office buildings in top metro areas around the country. We learned a lot about what tenants want out of their office building and landlord, however, one of the most surprising findings to me was seeing just how obsessed professionals are with fitness amenities at work.
In our survey, respondents were given the option to choose up to three amenities that were most important to them from the following list:
- Food deals, such as discounts to local lunch spots
- Fitness and wellness offerings, such as discounts to onsite gyms, visiting nutritionists, or spin & yoga classes
- Beer and wine experiences, such as weekly happy hours at local bars or wine tasting in the lobby
- Beauty experiences, such as monthly mani/pedis or blow-drys in the building
- Networking and professional development opportunities, such as educational panels, free course offerings, etc.
- Convenience services, such as dry cleaning, pet care, or child care
The top three choices? Fitness, food, and networking. Check out the full survey report before I dive into why fitness is so important to professionals today and how you can incorporate this into your property experience.
The intersection between fitness and work/life balance
There are plenty of assertions, opinions, and research that proves that exercise can help you at work and in life. For one, exercise releases an increased amount of endorphins which have been shown to reduce pain, increase happiness and generally decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.
For professionals who are increasingly busy with little free time to spare, the idea of adding exercise into the mix sounds counterintuitive and exhausting – but, professionals have fully jumped on the fitness bandwagon because of the realization that exercise is actually a major energy booster.
Another reason why fitness is permeating the business world? The impact that exercise has on personal confidence. Researchers have observed that exercise builds self-efficacy which directly impacts work-life balance:
“The term self-efficacy refers to the sense that one is capable of taking things on and getting them done – and although self-efficacy is a matter of self-perception, it has real impact on reality. According to psychologist Albert Bandura, people with high self-efficacy are less likely to avoid difficult tasks or situations, and more likely to see them as challenges to be mastered. Our research suggests that people who exercise regularly enjoy greater self-efficacy, and it carries over into their work and home roles.”
Business owners and HR teams are paying attention to this because employee happiness and effectiveness can impact their bottom line. In fact, when businesses are looking for office space, they’re increasingly prioritizing those with fitness centers onsite, or landlords who bring fitness classes onsite periodically for tenants. Which brings me back to our survey…
When asked to prioritize three amenities or experiences that are most important to them, here is how 300 professionals responded:
The types of fitness amenities that tenants will love
For landlords, now that you know how important fitness & wellness is to your tenants, how should you decide which amenities to offer? There are a number of onsite ideas that will make an immediate impact: access to onsite gyms, meditation rooms, bike racks or storage, and showers, for example, encourages exercise within the facility.
If your building doesn’t have these types of offerings, you can still bring fitness options to your tenants. Work with partners to offer weekly or monthly experiences, such as visiting yoga, spin, pilates, and bootcamp classes. You can also get friendly with your neighborhood, giving tenants access to promotions to nearby fitness centers. You don’t have to cover the cost for all tenants, either – often times, just the convenience of it being in the office or a small discount will make tenants happy.
It helps if tenants can discover and surface these offerings in a medium they are most familiar with – their smartphone. Your tenants are constantly using their phone to find stuff to do, so by offering them access to fitness amenities via their phone, and associating it with your office experience, your brand will stand apart from the competition.
Personalization is key. It’s no longer enough to throw one or two amenities at the wall and see what sticks. Tenants expect amenities that match their interests and preferences – something landlords have had little knowledge of in the past.
Tech-enabled buildings can accomplish this with certain tenant-facing proptech. Not only do certain tenant engagement software solutions enable landlords to have incredible insight into tenant demographics, but they can give the power of choice back to tenants. Easily polling tenants or measuring engagement and attendance of fitness amenities can help landlords quickly make changes and additions to their amenity offerings – ultimately increasing tenant happiness and loyalty.