When you’re looking to move your employees into a new Buncombe County office space, a lot of questions start to come up- Where do you start? What do people actually want when it comes to office features and amenities? One of the most important questions you’ll want to ask yourself first, is “What will make your employees excited about coming into work each day?” Using this key question as your driver, consider how these top workplace features will appeal to your folks.

1) Access to the outdoors or green space.
Nowadays, we’ve trended towards spending more of our working hours indoors than anywhere else. The more we can all step away and take a breath of fresh air, the better off we are- especially when thinking of employee health and productivity.

If you can find an office space with close proximity to walking trails and outdoor seating areas, this can be a great natural feature. If you’re in the middle of the city, green space might be trickier to find. Some buildings may have outdoor patios or rooftop decks with WiFi access, providing your employees a natural space to work or take a break. No matter the approach, your employees will appreciate the opportunity to step outside and get some fresh air while still being able to work at the same time.

2) Break areas.
Peek into a busy Asheville office and you might see a few people with one hand on a sandwich, with the other on a keyboard or mouse. This isn’t a healthy way to work; look for spaces that have open and well-lit spaces for employees to enjoy a break in the middle of the day, or whenever they need to recharge. Also gaining popularity are break areas that aren’t intended exclusively for meals-like exercise and meditation rooms, wellness rooms, rooms for nursing mothers, and other relaxing areas that are easy to access. Give your employees an appropriate space for their much-needed break in the work day.

3) Lots of (natural) light.
We’re not built to spend every waking hour under fluorescent light, staring into the glow of a monitor. Humans need open space, social interaction, and natural light. When looking for an office space, take note of the layout. By dismantling the corner offices and moving them to the interior, this opens the space for more windows. What do workstations look like? Are the cubicle walls high, lowered, or non-existent with a completely open office layout? With fewer offices, cubicles, and other obstructions in front of the coveted wall of windows, employees can enjoy a naturally illuminated, productive workspace. If the space you’re looking at has tons of windows but not enough of an open floorplan, discuss your preferences with your agent so they can advocate on your behalf for any renovation costs.

4) Good quality air.
We know that fresh, natural air is better for us than filtered indoor air, but we spend so much time inside out of habit and necessity. Because of this, many buildings are investing in high-quality technology to bring fresh outdoor air inside. Ask about a building’s HVAC system, any environmental certifications they have, such as Energy Star, and how they manage indoor air quality. This is an amenity that doesn’t sound great on paper (imagine “we provide fresh indoor air” in the property description), but it’s one that will undoubtedly impact your employees.

5) Access to fresh food.
Everyone has a preference when it comes to lunchtime favorites, but there’s a way to please the majority– options! If you can find an office space located within a short walking distance of an abundance of restaurants, caters lunch, and has a variety of healthy snacks within reach, you’ll be ahead of the game.

If your Asheville office location checks off all the boxes you’re looking for in an office space but proximity to lunch options are limited, consider looking into nearby pop-up catering availability – this service is usually offered by local restaurants who “pop-up” in your office and provide your employees with a variety of fresh lunch choices.

6) Flexibility.
This could be the most important amenity when you’re looking for an office space -flexibility. This is about offering your employees several or more ways to work to suit their needs. Consider how your employees prefer to do their work. At a cubicle, in an open space, at a standing desk, a treadmill desk, in a meeting room, in a cafeteria, in an outdoor space, in a quiet room, with a window, in a windowless room with no distractions-the possibilities for work environment preferences are limitless. It’s the little things that often make the difference between a mediocre office space and a fun, productive office space.

Whether buying or renting your new office space, the best place to start is by reaching out to your local realty expert. Prepare yourself with a priorities list and don’t forget to rank these 6 top office space features!

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.