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Way More Than Free Lunch: Boston’s Office Amenities Go Next Level

From covert spots for a cocktail to plug-and-play connectivity, office amenities in Boston are catering to higher standards, as developers and companies take into account an increasingly millennial workforce.

Anchor Line Partners Managing Partner Andrew Maher demonstrates who the millennial employee is in comparison to Equity Office Senior Vice President John Conley.

“There’s a lot of talk about talent. There are two types out there, and one is millennial talent fresh out of school,” Anchor Line Partners Managing Partner Andrew Maher said at Bisnow’s Boston State of Office event earlier this month. “You have to have an amenity package to get them.”

When open source software company Red Hat decided to open a 40K SF executive briefing center and innovation and engineering lab in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, its leaders knew it would be attracting a different type of workforce than those employed at its 175K SF suburban office in Westford, Massachusetts. The company heavily recruits from Boston’s numerous college campuses, so it realized it must woo potential employees with more than a regular salary and benefits. 

“Human resources is so involved in space design,” Red Hat Senior Consulting Engineer Jan Mark Holzer said. “Now your space is part of the benefit package.” 

Red Hat’s Boston office has a speak-easy managed by the same team behind Drink, an acclaimed bar nearby on Congress Street. While an in-house cocktail lounge might seem extreme, developers say Boston is a market with particularly high standards.

“It’s not just checking the box,” Morgan Stanley Executive Director Jennie Friend said. “You have to have the best gym that competes with Equinox, a cafeteria that is a place where people genuinely want to go and not just to avoid the rain or the cold in foul weather. That’s what distinguishes Boston, as the expectations here are really high.”

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