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Office Building Owners Need to Create a Sense of Community, According to Survey by H@W

LOS ANGELES – August 16, 2019 – Recent surveys of tenants by Lowe’s commercial property management subsidiary, Hospitality at Work, clearly showed that office building owners need to shift focus to creating community within the traditional office building environment in order to attract and retain tenants. The results of Hospitality at Work’s three years of tenant surveys at buildings across the country demonstrate that a rich program of community-building that engages, educates and entertains tenants is considered a highly-valued function of property management.

“It’s no longer sufficient to simply provide a workplace concierge. That trend needs to evolve, with onsite property staff developing programs and events that regularly spark interactions among workers and redefine the office building as another community to which they belong,” said Daisy Gauck, vice president of Hospitality at Work who manages the design, strategy and implementation of the platform.

As typical concierge services are not being fully utilized by the average employee, Hospitality at Work polled tenants on what services and programs they would like to have available in the workplace by offering some suggestions and options for feedback. Beyond the usual property management expectations, such as a well-functioning building and responsive management, the survey identified several areas where building management can engage with tenants: 1) opportunities for volunteerism and philanthropy, 2) food choices, and 3) health and wellness.

“Drawing on Lowe’s 47 years of experience in the hospitality industry and property management, Hospitality at Work builds on the attributes of hospitality-inspired service by adding more frequent interactions and touchpoints with tenants,” she noted. “The corporate property management team, in conjunction with our network of onsite building hosts, devise programs that are tailored to each property and have a significant effect on workplace satisfaction.”

Among the most popular programs that have been organized in the philanthropy/volunteer area were shoe donation drives for organizations that repurpose them for the needy, adopting a family during the holidays and back-to-school supply drives. To increase food options and casual gatherings Hospitality at Work provides a weekly grab-n-go treat tied to the season or a special event, catered lunches from local restaurants and food trucks. Mindfulness classes, pop-up yoga and walking clubs bring a fun fitness element.

“The common denominator among all of these is they bring people together and start to build a sense of community within the building,” observed Gauck.

Prior to implementing new programs, Hospitality at Work set a baseline in order to gauge the effectiveness of the initiatives. Understanding tenant satisfaction and a correlation with lease renewals is a key measure of success. Hospitality at Work has typically seen a 50-basis-point improvement in Kingsley tenant satisfaction surveys and its buildings consistently outperform this leading benchmarking database. In addition, there has been increased absorption in the buildings as tenants are drawn to the services offered.

“The Hospitality at Work platform ensures that property management functions are first-rate while implementing initiatives that focus on tenants and enable the team to gather feedback, a critical tool in this evolving office market environment,” she concluded.

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