Vancouver workers want offices with commuter options, workplace experiences

Office workers in Vancouver are increasingly placing high value on workplace amenities that influence healthy and eco-friendly choices, according to a tenant satisfaction study by GWL Realty Advisors Inc. 

The survey examined office design and building amenity preferences along with the commuting methods of 573 office workers at three Vancouver GWLRA-managed office buildings. In total, it canvassed 3,701 office employees in six metropolitan regions.

More than half (57 per cent) of Vancouver respondents said they commute mostly via public transit, while 20 per cent said they typically drive to work. Some 18 per cent said they cycle or walk to work. In addition, three in 10 respondents who said they don’t currently cycle would be more likely to do so if they had access to end-of-trip facilities, such as showers, personal lockers and secure bicycle storage.

Read: What are the benefits of offering commuting perks to employees?

The survey also probed employee interest in employee events, finding 55 per cent of Vancouver office workers expressed interest in participating in a workplace yoga class; 46 per cent were interested in attending health and wellness presentations related to nutrition, exercise, alternative health options, mental health and parenting; and 37 per cent expressed interest in attending guest speaker presentation about city issues and current events in Vancouver.

They were also asked to rank the importance of building certain amenities, which aren’t currently available, into their office building. About a third (29 per cent) said they wanted a sit-down restaurant or café, followed by access to a convenience store (28 per cent), an outdoor seating area (22 per cent) and an employee lounge (21 per cent). 

“There’s a generational shift towards prioritizing the overall experience of the office,” says Wendy Waters, vice-president of research services and strategy at GWLRA. “It’s not just about cost, but it’s about providing a different workplace experience. There’s sustainability interests, there’s access to transit, access to amenities and especially health and wellness amenities.”

Read: How WSP Global strives to conquer the commuting conundrum