Waste management is the top sustainability concern for Australian tenants, followed by a building’s energy efficiency and the use of eco-friendly cleaning products.
These are the findings of CBRE’s latest survey on occupant preferences, based on the responses of over 272 office occupiers across Australia.
Sound waste management was flagged as a “must have” by half the surveyed respondents, with only 4 per cent labelling this as “not important”.
An energy efficient building is the top concern for all sectors when assessing suitable buildings, followed by green building ratings and green leases.
Around 57 per cent of all respondents also claim to have initiatives in place for reducing their environmental impact.
People still want flexibility, including an office in a nearby suburb
The flexibility trend kicked off by coworking outfits isn’t going away. Demand for “space as a service” is expected to endure with the rise of flexible working trends and an increasing reliance on the gig economy.
There’s also a notable shift towards “hub and spoke” model, where instead of asking staff to trek into one centralised location, companies open up a series of smaller satellite offices in suburban and metro locations.
This is responding to employee requests for flexibility and shorter commute times, as well as rising net rental costs in major CBD office markets, with Sydney’s growing by 82 per cent and Melbourne’s by 41 per cent since 2014.
Get the basics right on technology
When it comes to technology, tenants really just want the basics – such as wi-fi – done well.
Sensors that monitor and control lighting and temperature and control energy consumption also ranked highly.
Tenants also now want the tools and platforms to capture data that gives visibility over employee activities and movements, although they will need to prove and promote the productivity benefits of capturing this data due to well-founded fear and mistrust among employees.
People want perks
Once upon a time, it was enough to offer changerooms and a rooftop garden to attract top-notch talent. But now prospective employees expect more than just premium amenities: they want perks.
This includes perks related to physical health (yoga classes, surfing trips), professional development (seminars), socialising (wine tasting), convenience (dry cleaning) and social responsibility (volunteering).
“Added-value perks are becoming as important as more traditional workplace amenity, with 69 per cent of respondents identifying increased amenity as an important factor when choosing head office accommodation and a rising 47 per cent of respondents indicating that perks inform this decision making,” CBRE’s Pacific head of workplace strategy Nicole Fitzgerald said.