5 Office Amenities That Boost Productivity And Employee Satisfaction

Many people are familiar with the perks that come your way when working for a company like Google. The unique office amenities offered to employees have been the topic of much discussion on respected websites like Business Insider, Forbes, and many others.

Let’s face it. Who doesn’t love the idea of adding relaxation rooms, breakfast bars, on-site gyms, and a team of massage therapists ready to relieve the daily stress of office life?

But adding amenities like these may not work in every business setting. While some companies may benefit from incorporating an arcade room—like at the LinkedIn headquarters—others only need to focus on the amenities that will have a positive impact on their bottom line. This is different for every office, and something a broker can help you determine.

Many of these “transformational office amenities”, as Emerging Trends In Real Estate calls them, can be key to boosting office morale, retaining existing employees, attracting new talent, and lowering the overall stress within your organization.

When considering updates to your own office space, or when searching for a new one, be sure to take a moment and ask yourself what amenities you will need in order for you and your team to perform their best.

To help with your brainstorming, here are some of the most requested office amenities according to National Real Estate Investor, Emerging Trends In Real Estate, and the brokers at Crunkleton.

1) The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things refers to the network of physical devices, electronics, software, and connectivity options within an office environment. In the commercial real estate world, the availability of efficiently operating systems is greatly affecting the leasing game and will continue to do so in the future.

It’s no surprise that access to fast, reliable Wi-Fi made it to the list of most requested amenities. Simply put, employees are looking for the freedom to walk about the office space/building and be able to complete their work in a number of settings—like the break room, cafeteria, or rooftop lounge. Offering reliable Internet means providing more freedom and convenience.

Technology such as energy efficient glass that adjusts for heat, glare, and daylight is considered a part of this category. Streaming music and mobile device connectivity to office tools are also important components to consider when deciding on your own Internet of Things for the office.

2) Dedicated Creative/Brainstorming Spaces

In today’s society, many jobs can be intellectually taxing and/or require high amounts of attention and creative energy. We saw the demand for additional creative spaces come along when Millennials began to enter the workforce, and this trend isn’t going anywhere for a while.

Companies like Beats Electronics headquartered in Culver City, California took brainstorming to the next level by creating entire rooms with whiteboard walls. AppNexus also came up with a unique way to get its employees’ creative juices flowing by incorporating a “poetry room.”

Some businesses even introduce elements like hammocks, basketball hoops, or video game systems for employees to use when on break or stuck in a creative slump. There’s no set way to execute the perfect creative/brainstorming space. The possibilities are endless.

3) On-Site Fitness Centers

Perhaps one of the most effective tools used to retain and attract new talent is the incorporation of on-site fitness centers. According to Athletic Business, a 40-year old publication dedicated to the sports and fitness industry, corporate fitness facilities “increase productivity, improve employee morale, and decrease absenteeism.”

Many large companies such as Unilever went so far as to create a “Wellbeing Zone” where employees can opt for activities like yoga, massages, and stretching. Google, on the other hand, added its famous “nap pods” as a place for employees to recharge.

Whether it’s in the form of adding a treadmill and some equipment in a dedicated area or creating a space that encourages mental wellbeing, investing in employees’ health and wellness is a highly requested amenity that has been shown to provide numerous benefits.

4) Access To Food Options

According to National Real Estate Investor, many employees are requesting access to better food options when at the workplace.

When searching for an office space, it’s always important to consider what food/coffee/beverages your company will have quick access to. This need for convenient food options has led businesses to relocate to areas where food choices are more plentiful. In some cases, companies are adding “dedicated food truck days” where employees can try out lots of local grub near the office.

With the rise of multi-use developments that incorporate office spaces, it’s becoming easier for tenants to provide their employees the food options that they desire.

Rooftop lounge at 315 Franklin Street in Downtown Huntsville.

 5) Rooftop Lounges And Outdoor Areas

Recent studies have been conducted that seek to determine the impact that physical office environment has on employees’ wellbeing.

The Human Spaces report into The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace stated in 2015 that “employees who work in environments with natural elements report a 15 percent higher level of well-being, are 6 percent more productive, and 15 percent more creative overall.”

Click here to read the official press release on the study.

This may be the reason so many workers are seeking office spaces with dedicated rooftop spaces and outdoor areas where they can decompress and reconnect with nature.

What office amenities do you find the most helpful and/or necessary? Let us know in the comments below! If you have questions about office amenities, call Eric St. John at 256-536-8809, or email eric@crunkletonassociates.com

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Rockaxe City Throwing Club, Welcome To Downtown Huntsville!

On the corner of Washington Street and Clinton Avenue, Downtown Huntsville will soon celebrate the opening of its newest addition, Rockaxe City Throwing Club!

The complex will have 12 throwing lanes, a total of 24 targets, and several axe types to choose from to test your skill and compete against friends, family, or even competitors across the globe.

Carly Seldon, Event Coordinator at Rockaxe, said they have many fun things in the works for guests in the coming weeks.

“Our staff has been training for months, preparing the space, and practicing the craft to make sure we are ready for our Grand Opening on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th),” she said. “It has been great to work with such an awesome team. We’ve come up with some creative ideas that will make your visit to Rockaxe a memorable one.”

But what brought Rockaxe to Downtown Huntsville? It turns out the owner has a love of the sport and a passion for the Rocket City.

Discovering The Sport

“Our owner, Tim Talbot, is a traveling ER doctor,” explained Carly. “A few years ago, he went to Canada with his sons and they ended up throwing axes every day while they were there. Because his sons are from Huntsville and he lives Downtown, he thought it was time to bring the sport home.”

Since then, Tim has worked tirelessly to make his dream a reality. Very soon, competitors will be welcomed into the space to experience what Rockaxe hopes will become Downtown Huntsville’s newest pastime.

“The space itself is very unique,” said Carly. “It has been designed to look like you’re outside at night. Imagine black ceiling paint, pendant lights, and twilight scenes. We will even make some of the beams look like trees.”

Rockaxe also has real-time cameras installed within each lane that are designed to make competitions more interesting.

“HDI cameras are available so guests can compete in real time with other ‘axeperts’ around the world,” said Carly. “Our staff has already been challenged by the team in Galway, Ireland. We plan to take them up on that offer soon!”

With competitions going on all over the globe at any given time, it’s easy to see that this sport is becoming a favorite among many major urban cities.

The Rise Of Urban Axe Throwing

According to Carly, urban axe throwing has been growing steadily in popularity over the last few years, making its way from Canada to the rest of the world.

“The sport began in Canada around 10 or 15 years ago,” she explained. “There were so many people interested that an official organization was created for it. It’s called the World Axe Throwing League (WATL), and we are the only location in Alabama that is accredited by the group.”

At Rockaxe, competitors will find camp axes, fireman axes, and more. But in order to compete for WATL, they must use a regulation axe with very specific standards.

“It helps to create consistency and fairness for every competition,” said Carly. “Our Grand Opening will be the first major competition to happen in the state of Alabama under WATL, and the winner will be the official state champion.”

Want To Join The Alabama WATL League?

Anyone interested in becoming an “Axepert”, as Rockaxe calls it, can join an 8-week long league series.

Huntsville axe throwing enthusiasts will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday night for two hours of throwing and competition with other leagues in the South and across the world.

Instruction is provided on the first evening and the competition runs for seven weeks. All points will count toward an international ranking and can earn league members a trip to the WATL World Championship to represent Alabama!

So be sure to head over to Rockaxe and test your skills on St. Patrick’s Day!

For more information on Rockaxe City Throwing Club and its Grand Opening, visit their website at https://rockaxecity.com or follow them on Facebook.

(All photos are courtesy Rockaxe City Throwing Club.)

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Trends To Watch In The Hotel Industry: 2018

Whether it’s full-service or budget-friendly, hotels are an important sector in the commercial real estate world.

In its latest 2018 U.S. Market Outlook, CBRE projected an increased demand in hotels. And in the 2018 Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report, it was determined that “U.S. hotel occupancy levels are expected to be approximately 65.6 percent, the highest level of occupancy since 1981.”

But with changing demographics, updates in technology, and competitive hotel brands, it’s important that commercial real estate practitioners, investors, and developers stay on top of major trends affecting the lodging industry.

Increasing Brand Diversification

In recent years, several hotel brands have been introduced to the marketplace. Larger hotel companies are expected to diversify their brand by creating independent properties through soft branding.

Emerging Trends reports, “hotel owners and developers are expected to create campuses featuring two or more brands with distinct products and price segments that share back-of-the-house facilities.”

By creating these distinct brands, they are able to offer entirely different experiences that capture different crowds. One of the campuses may provide more high-end luxury features, while the other site could cater to budget-friendly travelers.

A Shift To Leisure Travel

According to CBRE, leisure travel will outshine business-related travel in the coming year and will become increasingly important in the hotel/lodging sector.

Hotel demand is projected to grow, but this shift to leisure travel means some markets will need to adapt to “fluctuations in international travel.” CBRE reports that the “growth in leisure [travel] demand is particularly explained by shifts in the hotel guest profile and the spending habits of U.S. age cohorts.”

People are craving the experiences that travel can offer. In fact, the 2018 Travel Trend Report by TrekkSoft says that the 30 to 50-year-old crowd (Gen X) is more interested in relaxing getaways, while 65+ (Baby Boomers) are looking for adventure outings and ways to socialize with other travelers.

More Smart Room Features

Hotel and lodging brands that successfully harness the power of technology are at an advantage. All areas of hotel design are adding more technology to provide flexibility for guests, along with offering more personalized services.

For instance, apps that guide guests throughout the experience are becoming the norm. Booking, check-in, service requests, and checkout can all be taken care of by the touch of a button on a hotel-branded app. Texting the concierge is replacing calls to the front desk. And rooms are adding more amenities such as personalized tablets where guests can control lights, temperature, and streaming services like Apple TV and Netflix.

But even with an increase in technology, studies show that hotel guests still crave human interaction and a personal touch. The challenge for hotels will be creating an environment that supports both.

Simpler, Natural Design Elements

U.S. News & World Report has noted a few evolutions in hotel design. Most notably, a trend toward pared down rooms and enhanced common spaces. (Many experts credit millennials for this change.)

Design is trending toward more simple and natural concepts. Trivago recently shared that in addition to larger communal spaces, hotels will feature more “live greenery” and “natural light.” The goal of connecting guests to the natural world is aimed at improving wellbeing and decreasing the stress of travel.

Curious about what other trends are affecting the hotel industry? Read more in the 2018 Emerging Trends in Real Estate report here.

Have you seen other trends in the hotel industry worth noting? Let us know in the comments below!

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Crunkleton Shares A Sneak Peek Inside Three Soon-To-Open Businesses!

Get ready, Huntsville! We’ve got updates on the openings of a few businesses that you’ve been asking about.

Here are the details on opening dates, events, and even some grand opening specials you can enjoy if you drop by!

Kennedy & Rowe Clothing Company – Opening March 10th

Confident, classy, refined—this is what comes to mind when entering the antique-ornamented space of the newest boutique in Downtown Huntsville.

Kennedy & Rowe Clothing Company (formerly J. Kennedy Clothing Company) will officially open its doors to the public on March 10th. The brand draws upon the timelessly classic flair of Jacqueline Kennedy to create styles for the modern woman that unleash confidence and individuality.

Co-owners Meagan Tortorigi and Anusha Alapati spent the last few months preparing the space with Persian rugs, cozy chairs, and antique trinkets.

“Our goal was to create a space where people want to sit down and stay awhile,” said Meagan. “Guests will feel comfortable to browse, relax, and chat with us about their wardrobe and accessory needs. Bringing Kennedy & Rowe to life has been an incredible experience, and we can’t wait to share it with you. See you on March 10th!”

Follow Kennedy & Rowe for more updates on its opening events. You can also check them out on Instagram.

The Garage at Clinton Row
114 Clinton Avenue, Unit 104
Huntsville, AL 35801

Oshi Poké Bowl & Sushi – Opening March 5th

Starting March 5th, Huntsville will be able to get its hands on a culinary trend that has exploded in popularity. Oshi Poké Bowl & Sushi is in the final stages of preparing the space for the many poké lovers who can’t wait to try this Hawaiian delight.

Min Liu, main operator of Oshi’s Huntsville location, said that the grand opening day would also include a special treat. Guests can enjoy a half-off poké bowl!

Bowls typically include fresh seafood, veggies, sauce, and seasoning—each selected by the customer. The customized meals at Oshi can include everything from sushi-grade tuna to mangos and squid ink rice.

But if you want to go the more traditional route, you can also pick from a large menu of sushi rolls that are proven crowd pleasers.

Whether it’s your first time trying poké or you’re a regular fan of the dish, be sure to visit Oshi when they open in just a few weeks!

You can get more information on Oshi’s opening here.

The Avenue
201 Jefferson Street, Suite 1
Huntsville, AL 35801

Baby Bite Bake Shoppe – Opening Mid-April

Photo credit: Baby Bite Bake Shoppe

When Crunkleton announced that Baby Bite Bake Shoppe was coming to town, the response was tremendous!

If you’re new to the brand, here’s a little background.

Pastry Art Bake Shoppe in Homewood and Inverness had Baby Bites on the menu for years before they decided to open a shop in Huntsville that specialized in its best-selling item. These bite-sized delights are a new twist on the traditional petit four with the perfect cake-to-icing ratio. And they come in a wide variety of flavors.

Co-owner and manager of Baby Bite, Emily Sharman, said that the new shop would be strictly grab-and-go with the option to sample several flavors in one order.

“You can get twelve different ones in a single order if you like,” explained Emily. “It’s cost-effective, and we have a lot of clientele that want to try several at once.”

While the space recently began construction, Emily said that everything would be ready to go in April.

Construction has begun and will be complete for an April opening!

“We plan to finish up the construction in late March,” she said. “But we want to take a couple of weeks to adequately train employees and make sure we are running at 100 percent for our guests.”

Baby Bite will announce the exact opening date on its Facebook and Instagram channels. So, be sure to follow them for all the info, along with some surprise opening day deals!

Emily with a sampling of delicious Baby Bites! Photo credit: Baby Bite Bake Shoppe

Westbury Square
975 Airport Road Southwest, Unit L
Huntsville, AL 35802

Are you excited about these store openings? Will you be there opening day? Let us know in the comments!

Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

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