Back in 1985…
Thinking back 30 years, if you actively sought to start your day by cycling or running to the office (perhaps influenced by the “Life. Be in it” health campaign), you were most likely in the minority of your colleagues.
Dedicated cycle storage barely existed, usually consisting of an obsolete spot in your building’s basement, forcing you to find a spot on the street to lock your bike up (and hope it was still there by the end of the day).
And when you finally did arrive at the office, you would need to head up to grab your suit and shoes from a communal coat rack or the hook of your office door and hunt for an available shower, where choice was extremely limited if available at all.
Fast forward to 2017
Office life certainly has changed in the past 30 years and the built environment has evolved to accommodate the shifting needs of society, including advanced end of trip facilities (EOTF).
The advantages of riding bikes not only revolve around a more active and healthier workforce but it’s also beneficial as it saves on car parking space; you can fit 10 bicycles in a standard car parking space, and a single space in a city centre office building can cost around $10-$12,000 a year (according to Sydney Cycleways).
Around the globe, bicycles and active transport are changing the way cities work, with cities aiming to create happier and healthier workplaces. In Sydney for example, Lord Mayor Clover Moore has stated “Supporting more people to ride to work has had positive flow-on effects for the city of Sydney. Flexible work environments are a mandatory feature of all offices at the moment, a trend that will no doubt develop further over the coming years.”
Attracting and retaining talent is key to all organisations, and on a larger scale cities too. Those cities who can show that they are providing what workers want, including catering for an active lifestyle of the modern worker, will be the ones to attract and keep the best workers.
What workers want
End of trip facilities (EOTF) have become commonplace for commercial buildings around Australia, with many including bicycle storage (stands, hoops, racks) as well as shower facilities, changing rooms and lockers. Other facilities include irons and ironing boards, water bubblers, spare helmets, track pumps, bike maps and a communal wall map for workers to share their routes.
Groups that require larger space typically commit to new office towers with specific expectations. As one example, prior to Westpac Group moving to Barangaroo, the employees had a say in what they wanted in the new office space, with the outcome including 400 secure bike racks, 400 lockers, 40 showers, dedicated change rooms and fresh daily towels, as well as amenities such as garment airing facilities, ironing stations, hair dryers and straighteners.
In addition to EOTF, we’re also seeing a new trend in bicycle fleets. While companies are able to ferry around staff in many different ways (from taxi accounts to issuing public transport tickets), an increasing number are using bicycle fleets. A bicycle fleet is made up of bikes owned by an organisation but loaned to their employees, and allows employees to travel economically and sustainably.
One example is The City of Sydney, which has a bicycle fleet at Town Hall. Employees use these bikes to travel to meetings, move between offices or convey equipment to events. Staff are required to attend a practical training course and are then issued a free helmet and reflective sash, as well as access to the fleet’s locker.
State by state breakdown
End of trip facilities can be found in all types of office buildings, whether they be Premium, A or B Grade. In addition, market conditions influence on the offering and vary from state to state.
According to legend, EOTF in Australia originated from this market, at a time when supply outweighed tenant demand. Due to this, companies tried to create a point of difference in order to attract and close deals, so the humble bike room, shower and storage zone flourished to incorporate concierge and hot towel service.
Some of the existing buildings that offer great EOTF include Waterfront Place, Riverside Centre, 145 Ann Street and 1 William Street.
EOTF is common throughout Sydney and in fact, the 2012 Sydney Development Control Plan (DCP 2012) requires business premises provide bicycle parking, changing cubicles and lockers. As part of the promotion of a healthy and active workplace, the City of Sydney organises an annual Sydney Rides Challenge, which sees businesses such as Westpac, Qantas, NRMA, Lend Lease and many more competing to get the most number of employees riding bikes.
In addition to the standard facilities, Sydney has a large focus on wellness facilities, which include gyms, yoga rooms and access to significantly enhanced end-of-trip facilities including shower facilities and towel service.
Some of the existing buildings that offer great EOTF include Barangaroo Towers 1, 2 & 3, Grosvenor Place at 225 George Street, Darling Park at 201 Sussex Street, 580 George Street and 259 George Street.
In this market, there has been a significant shift in cycling mentality, with increasing numbers of workers riding to work each year. This has led to a growing demand for bicycle facilities in commercial buildings, with tenants valuing this almost as important as car parking.
Some of the existing buildings that offer great EOTF include 140 William Street and 500 Bourke Street.
The downturn in the mining industry has had an impact on tenant demand, rental levels and incentives in Perth. This has caused some to turn to EOTF as a point of difference in their office offering to attract future tenants to the building.
One of the buildings offering great EOTF is Brookfield Place.
What the future holds
End of trip facilities tend to change and evolve in a regular cycle, from adjustments in availability ratio, to security enhancements, to the latest ‘option up’ benefit for the user. No doubt, the future will hold even more changes not just to the base products but to our way of life and the way we approach work.
To learn more about EOTF or find the best office space around Australia, contact our Office Leasing team.