Striking the Live, Work, Play Balance
Just as live, work, play balance has become key to successful workplaces, the trend has also taken off in commercial real estate. Formerly known as mixed-use communities, these developments offer a variety of housing, amenities (i.e. grocery stores, dog parks, walking trails, movie theaters), and close proximity to the local companies where their residents work. Striking the live, work, play balance in the workplace has been shown to boost productivity, employee engagement, and lower stress. Similarly, communities that offer the live, work, play balance offer a variety of health and social benefits. As the nature of work has shifted from a typical 9-5 office schedule to greater flexibility -- where remote work is common -- developers are seeking to adapt as well by creating communities that incorporate a work-live-play lifestyle.
How Live, Work, Play Promotes Greater Productivity, Engagement, and Lower Stress in the Workplace
By offering work-life services, flexible work arrangements, and company-sponsored employee and family events, companies have sought to offer a better work-life balance. Implementing these types of programs has led to many benefits, including:
- Greater Productivity. A study by the Corporate Executive Board found that the existence of employer-sponsored work-life services improved employee productivity, even if staff did not utilize these services.
- Higher Employee Retention. Flexible work arrangements have been shown to improve employee retention, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. 89 percent of HR professionals surveyed said they saw a boost in employee retention as a result of such arrangements.
- Lower Stress. Offering a work-life balance can also help lower stress among employees, which in turn, can help improve work performance, reduce absenteeism, and lower healthcare expenditures.
Striking the Live, Work, Play Balance in Communities
The idea behind live, work, play communities is not all that dissimilar from this concept in the workplace. It is based on the premise that residents are generally happier living in a community that conveniently provides for the majority of their needs. Live, work, play communities -- once associated with city life -- today are increasingly being developed in suburban locations. These types of communities, where amenities such as dog parks, walking trails, and grocery stores are all within walking distance, greatly promote quality and ease of living. Residents enjoy the following benefits as a result:
- Low-Stress. Communities that offer residents the amenities and conveniences of daily life reduce the need for lengthy commutes and driving, while promoting a healthier lifestyle and greater amounts of walking.
- Stronger Social Ties. Live, work, play communities typically include a variety of housing types, from apartments to condominiums, townhomes and sometimes even single-family homes. Living in close proximity to one another and sharing the same community amenities, neighbors are encouraged to get to know each other and build relationships.
Adapting to the Live-Work Trend
As our work habits have changed, with people less tied to a 9-5 schedule and increasingly working remotely, developers are realizing the necessity of adapting to their residents' evolving needs. The live-work trend today is embodied by remote work as well as people wanting to live and work within close geographic proximity. According to a 2016 Gallup poll, 43 percent of Americans spent time working remotely, and co-working, or shared office spaces, have become more common and sought-out by residents.
Successful developers in this rapidly evolving sector must possess expertise across an array of core competencies in order to develop attractive live, work, play communities. As Art Falcone explains to Multifamilly Executive, “Developers are being forced to have more expertise and be able to do more than one thing well." With the live-work trend showing no signs of slowing, developers must increasingly have this knowledge spanning multiple areas.
The professional Advisors of Verani Realty’s commercial division have a proven track record of working with developers from concept to completion with these specific types of projects throughout New England.
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