The ideal commute for a lot of people would be walking out of their front door and into their office. While a nice thought, those commutes rarely exist. Since employee retention is so important in this day and age, going the extra mile to make employees' lives that much easier makes a huge difference – especially when you’re moving office locations or adding new space to an existing one.
Because commutes play such a significant role in your employee experiences, top priorities include employee parking and access to reliable transit options. But, there’s more to be considered than just direct commuting options. There needs to be effort put into your employees’ lives outside of work.
More than commutes
As we mentioned, commutes are rarely just back and forth between an employee’s house and the office. Choosing an office location with proximity to nearby activities can be essential to employee happiness. In fact, 66 percent of millennials say happy hour-based perks keep them interested in their current position. Let’s not forget the times when you just need to go out with your coworkers after work and celebrate or decompress.
Another popular post-work activity: grocery shopping. Stopping on your way home to grab items for the day or week is a convenient choice for many. Because of this, you might want to consider access to grocery stores when looking for an office location.
Anyone who has gone to the grocery store during rush hour knows that shelves empty quick and lines form fast. Access to a market during lunch and beating the post-work crowd is an ideal option, if possible.
Exercising is now a common stop on the way to and from work. No one wants to leave work, go home, and then head back out. Proximity to a SoulCycle or Orange Theory is as important as ever for employees. Especially now, when more and more professionals are opting for midday sweat sessions to break up the day or to regain focus.
Most of the time, team building occurs beyond the office walls. Whether it's at dinner, a local sporting event, or lunch among coworkers, you need options. This is an important part of being able to increase and sustain employee engagement. Since open offices rose in popularity, engagement and productivity have been on a slight decline. Hosting team- and work-oriented meetings outside of the office get employees in the mindset of being part of a larger mission, while simultaneously removing potentially derailing office distractions.
Although open offices have their benefits, employees may need to escape the confines – or lack thereof – of an open office. A nearby coffee shop provides a silo to refocus and regroup in order to finish the workday strong, as well as a space to interact with coworkers in a more casual setting.
This can also help in the recruiting game. Just like your current team members, new employees want to meet and get to know their new coworkers, which is easier to do on a human level if you’re outside of your physical office space. Helping employees acclimate to a new situation is an essential part of the onboarding process, setting the stage for retaining employees longer.
When every company is offering the newest or coolest office spaces or amenities, you need any edge you can get — and that may just be having a Sweetgreen around the corner. Employees' lives outside of the office aren’t necessarily the top priority in choosing your office location, but you do want to show you understand that their time outside of work is just as important to their performance as their time inside the office is.