If you are a micro market operator, you have likely concluded by now that hybrid working is here to stay in a certain percentage of your locations. This reality brings up some questions that need to be addressed. How does the hybrid model change the way you do business? What do your customers expect from you in the face of hybrid work schedules? How can micro market operators help workplaces accomplish their employee collaboration objectives?
The JLL Report
Some clues to navigating the new workplace landscape are contained in a 2022 report by JLL – a company that helps its customers buy, build, occupy and invest in a variety of assets including industrial, commercial, retail, residential and hotel real estate – titled “The Future of Work Survey 2022.” Here are some key conclusions from the study:
Strategic decision-makers cannot ignore the lasting impact of hybrid work on their organization.
- 53% of organizations are expected to make remote working permanently available to all employees by 2025.
Offering hybrid working options are important.
- 77% agree/strongly agree that offering remote/hybrid working will be critical to attracting and retaining talent.
Real estate is an essential enabler in the ESG (environmental, social and governance) journey and will simultaneously support both positive social and environmental impacts.
- 69% have already introduced, or will introduce this year, programs to boost in-office collaboration.
- 73% have planned or are planning to make all office spaces open and collaborative.
Organizations will seek input from specialists aligned to their priority areas of investment.
- 75% of leading CRE functions anticipate more reliance on external partners, like micro market operators.
A micro market destination
“If you take a long look at the JLL study, the message for micro market operators is clear,” said Troy Geis, co-founder of Fixturelite, the industry’s leading supplier of micro market retail solutions, destinations, and experiences. “In order to be successful in today's white-collar locations, operators need to work with their clients to create a micro market destination in the office that will help attract employees back. That destination needs to feel like home. It needs to be flexible, it needs to offer collaboration, safety and comfort, and it needs to offer privacy as needed. It's an entire space concept that both a business and an operator can co-create.”
“Employees don't want to work from home and stay at home. They like the flexibility and the comfort and the convenience of working at home, but people get tired of working at home. They still miss the collaborative experience. They just want to bring all these things they've gained from working at home for the last two years with them when they come back to the office. If we can help our operator partners create a destination for them, then we all succeed,” Geis added.
The Coffee House effect
Micro market operators can help workplaces accomplish their employee collaboration objectives by creating what Geis called “The Coffee House effect.” He suggests that operators need to rejuvenate their micro market spaces to deliver the positive features of working from home, much like the leading coffee house chains.
“A workplace needs to draw employees back in. Pre-pandemic micro markets need to be rejuvenated to a point that they become a place that employees want to be at three days a week or more,” Geis said. “The workplace needs to emerge as a destination that is as good or better than the comfortable and safe home office.”
Steve Orlando, co-founder of Fixturelite, notes that leading micro market operators are busy making moves to rejuvenate major locations. “Small- and medium-sized micro market operators need to pay attention to what the most successful operators in the industry are doing. They are working closely with their clients, rejuvenating their markets and securing long-term contracts in the best locations,” said Orlando.
“Specifically, the leading operators are redesigning the “up against the wall” micro market designs,” he said. “They are adding comfortable furniture, charging stations, retail sleds and seating that promote collaboration in an open floorplan.”
Orlando urges operators to reach out to the Fixturelite team for ideas that will help them compete with operators who are proactively rejuvenating their locations. “We were a medium-sized operator for a decade. We know that smaller operators can deliver a high level of service,” Orlando observed. “Unfortunately, great products and service may not be enough today to retain the best locations. Operators need to rejuvenate their markets to keep up. Fixturelite is here to help.”
Reach out to Fixturelite for some affordable ways to rejuvenate your best micro market locations. Visit www.fixturelite.com.