Office Location Influences Employee Hiring, Retention

Location, location, location. It’s not just the No.1 criteria driving real estate prices, it can also make or break a business’s efforts to hire and retain employees. A survey of 503 full-time employees from ratings and review platform Clutch found that when it comes to their workplace location, they would rather have a short commute over an office located near restaurants, coffee shops, retailers and other amenities.

Almost half of employees (49 percent) say that an office near their home is the most important factor when considering office location. Ralph Benzakein, senior vice president of Cresa, says, “Commuting costs employees time and money. In times of low unemployment, employers are competing for employees on many levels. A 10-minute commute is going to look a lot more attractive to a prospective employee than an hour.”

The survey also found that most offices are close to restaurants (70 percent) and coffee shops (62 percent), but just 22 percent of employees actually go out to buy lunch at work more than half the time.

Businesses near public transit may have an easier time finding and hiring workers, especially in urban areas, as they don’t have to limit themselves to only employees who commute by driving or walking. About 47 percent of offices are near a metro, train or bus stop, and these companies can recruit a wider range of employees. John Boyd, principal of Boyd Company, says, “Being close to mass transit allows human resources departments to recruit the best and brightest from the entire labor market.”

Also, about 70 percent of employees drive alone to work. As many have to worry about finding a parking spot every day, businesses that offer parking options near their offices can keep these employees happy. John Rampton, founder and CEO of scheduling software Calendar, says, “The last thing you want to do is to spend time and be late [to work] all because you were trying to find parking. That is an unnecessary waste of time that can be avoided by offering parking.”

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