Omaha Branch Director Dwayne Sieck spoke to attendees during the Board’s visit to the Waterford Building in Elkhorn, Nebraska.

During a tour of the Waterford Building in Elkhorn, Nebraska, the Omaha Branch Board of Directors saw examples of how hybrid-work preferences since the pandemic have led to changes in the traditional office setting.

“Since the pandemic, we’ve seen more amenities,” said Mike Homa, president of R & R Realty Group Nebraska and a presenter during the Board’s tour in July. “It’s about bringing those amenities back to the office.”

Homa kicked off a presentation for the Omaha Branch directors and Kansas City Fed leadership at the Waterford Building, which comprises nearly 200,000 square feet in the Fountain Ridge Office Park. Features include waterfalls, rooftop and patio spaces for entertaining, a workout room and a commons area.

“Today’s workforce wants more, more benefits, more amenities, a better work/life balance,” said Corey Watton, chief financial officer of Fusion Medical Staff, a company that decided to relocate to the Waterford Building to meet its changing needs. The majority of Fusion’s staff has a hybrid-work schedule.

Board members toured the building and got an up-close look at Fusion’s workspace as it was being constructed. Features include moveable desks and workspaces, natural light, updated conference rooms and “fun” themes in each area.

“With unemployment in Omaha still very low, businesses have made some adjustments to their working environment in attempts to attract prospective employees to their organizations,” said Nate Kauffman, senior vice president and Omaha Branch executive.

“This includes a variety of amenities and office upgrades that may have been less common ten years ago.”

The tour also included the offices of TEKsystems, a technology and business solutions company based in Maryland. TEKsystems moved into the Waterford Building a year ago, and executives said that space fits hybrid-work schedules of its employees.

Kauffman said while the Kansas City Fed relies heavily on data to understand the region, the Bank also learns a lot by observing the region first-hand, seeing the outcome of certain investments, asking questions about how decisions are made, and filling in gaps of an economic narrative that data might not fully address.

(Read a Nebraska Economist study examining changes in the traditional office environment.)