Hey Amazon, here’s some advice for HQ2 office perks

This forest sanctuary is an example of an office design, so work-life balance doesn’t have to clock out .</ figcaption>

Image: sterling bay

While Amazon continues its search for the next North American city to host its second headquarters, the online shopping company is without a doubt also looking at what to include in the future HQ2 building no matter where it is. Its workplace amenities will help recruit talent and keep them at the company. Just look at its Seattle campus with its giant, bio-dome realms.

But putting in some bean pouches and a foosball table won’t cut it anymore. Perks need to be built into the building, whether it’s a state-of-the-art gym, infrared spa, or forest sanctuary.

Keating Crown is a principal at Sterling Bay, a Chicago developer, and has design proposals for a company like Amazon to set up shop in the midwestern city. In the fierce competition to win Amazon’s jobs and economic bolstering, Sterling Bay has put together a proposed second Amazon campus in Chicago. It appears more like a utopian future city than a corporate headquarters 😛 TAGEND

A rendering for a proposed site for Amazon’s HQ2 in Chicago.

Image: sterling bay

Crown said in a phone call that while an impressive house is important, so are other factors like proximity to a major airport, access to public transit, and location near desirable, livable neighborhoods. Young professionals “want to walk and be close to work, ” and have “amenity-rich neighborhoods, entailing good grocery stores, stores, music venues, and eventually schools and parks.

Sterling Bay was the developer that transformed a cold-storage building into Google’s Chicago headquarters. From that experience and working with other big companies, Crown said he’s find how it’s important to have meet spaces and places to blow off steam — whether that’s a yoga room, meditation room, tree-filled atrium or chill roof deck.

Fitness centers are increasingly a desired in-house amenity — and it can’t simply be an afterthought with a stationary bike and some dumbbells. “It’s no longer find the darkest corner of the building and hope people show up, ” Crown said. It’s about detecting a space with great views and illumination.

Beautiful gyms are becoming a popular workplace perk.

Image: sterling bay

Meeting spaces, reflecting rooms, and other gathering places are all part of “keeping their employees at the office.” Instead of leaving the office to get away from your desk, socialize, relax, or unwind, companies want to integrate run and play into the office space.

“Anything that stimulates your day more efficient, ” Crown said. “That’s what’s expected by the new workforce.”

Never leave work with a roof deck like this.

Image: Sterling bay

But it’s still a balancing act.

Career site Monster polled its users last year and received 40 percent of respondents value work-life balance when asked, “Which of the following induces you happiest about your current or most recent role/ workplace? ” Next with 20 percentage was “pride in my work.” Being able to have a life outside of work is important to people. But more and more, employers are trying to trick people into thinking that work-life balance is in the office.

“The fact that employers are offering these perks is great, ” Monster career expert Vicki Salemi said in a bellow. “But it’s up to you to make sure you aren’t in the office 12 hours a day.”

“It’s up to you to make sure you aren’t in the office 12 hours a day.”

It can be hard to unplug and genuinely take a break when your workout, meditation time, and lunch infringe are all in the office. It’s beyond convenient to have your laundry delivered to your desk, but Salemi still fosters employees to “get your mind out of the game” by physically leaving the building. It’s best for you and your employer, she said.

Orangetheory Fitness CEO Dave Long knows Boca Raton, Florida isn’t precisely a tech hub where top talent is trying to go for run. So when his fitness company renovated the home office last year for its more than 100 employees, he knew what the workplace offered was going to be crucial.

“We want our staff to know we’re doing things not to check boxes, but to improve them, ” he said.

That’s why employee wellness became the general principles for what to include in the redesign. A full Orangetheory studio was a must-have, but Long made sure an indoor running track constructed it in as well. Massage chairs and a ping-pong table are also part of the office, along with a healthy food program. But Long considers these baseline amenities that most companies should offer because it’s “still important to providing work-life balance.”

Care for a nap?

Image: orangetheory fitness

But to push his office further, that’s where the Oasis comes in. The laboratory, spa, and recovery center is a place to test your cholesterol, take a cold plunge, remainder in a sleep pod, or relax in an infrared sauna.

“I’d like to think on a couple of our hires, our facilities were a tipping point, ” Long said.

And don’t worry, they still play ping-pong.

If this office building in Boca Raton is any indication, the workplace has become the gym, spa, cafeteria, and unwinding place. Work-life balance goals are creeping into the office space and taking a nap.

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