We know there’s a blurring of the lines between the home and the office. Taking work home, replying to emails from the sofa, logging-in to the network on a Sunday – these days it’s all par for the course. Mobile technology has made it all possible, and like moths to bright light, we just can’t resist that little flashing smartphone beacon.
As such, the home and the workplace are undergoing something of a role reversal.
Look at the example of Clarendon Business Centres. Having announced the impending arrival of two new business centres in London, Clarendon has unveiled some preliminary details of one of its new centres – Riverbank House in Fulham. Rather than reeling out a list of standard workplace facilities, here’s what Clarendon is advertising:
- Fabulous views down the River Thames and across the city
- 7th floor balcony break-out areas
- Free on-site Gym with changing rooms and showers
- Croquet lawn and putting green
- Open air cinema
- Onsite cafe
- State of the art telecoms system
- Secure cycle storage area
- Wonderful on site support team
- Garden breakout areas
- Plenty of local bars, cafes restaurants and shops
Apart from on-site support and telecoms, this list almost exclusively focuses on lifestyle perks – views, balconies, gym, showers, croquet, cinema, bars. And it sounds amazing. So is this what clients are hankering for?
Some are – such as those featured in an interesting report by April Capochino Myers, who delved into this very question. She found that millennials, or Gen Y (typically born between 1981 and 1994) prefer collaborative workspace and crave social community hubs, where they can knuckle down together and work in a creative environment.
“Feel more like home”
“What millennials are expecting from the work and office space is for it to feel more like home,” said Elizabeth Carter, interior designer and owner of Elizabeth Carter Interior Design. “They are looking for more of a lounge space so collaboration can happen.”
One place we see this happening is in coworking spaces, where soft furnishings, bar stools, long tables and open-plan meeting spaces are the norm. That’s to be expected. But interestingly, the concept is spreading, feeling its way into new markets and corporate cultures.
Like this rather beautiful dentist’s office in Portland, Oregon. The goal was to create a non-traditional space with a modern, comfortable feel – and it’s clear that they achieved that.
Back to business centres, and there’s always the danger that straying too far from a traditional corporate image will alienate some people. As Carter says, the open-plan hub that’s so popular with Millennials is “causing conflict between the generations”.
On the flip side, it’s difficult to imagine how a business centre with gorgeous views and croquet gardens could offend any clients. Yet again it comes down to balance, and introducing a few homely perks or creature comforts into your workplace surely won’t go unnoticed (for all the right reasons). After all, there’s no place like home – and the more comfortable and enjoyable the workplace, the more likely your clients are to stay.
Do you advertise lifestyle products? And if so, do they take centre stage in your marketing or tour strategy? Let us know.