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Commercial development sets the course for business. And good commercial spaces magnify the businesses that occupy them.  Childcare in commercial development is a win-win for the whole community.

As businesses have to account for the many sides of their employees’ lives. The most difficult thing to account for is for employees to balance their family life.

Here’s how adding on-site childcare in commercial development can benefit businesses, employees, and the community.  And when you hit this trifecta, you will also increase the development’s success rate.


1. Family Friendly Policies Embodied

Honestly, there is a lot of talk from executives that want to be the “cool boss” and lip service to things like flexibility and being family-friendly. Talk is cheap. Commercial development is not. But, the following loyalty that comes from people feeling that they are cared for is invaluable.

It’s human relationships 101. People are more engaged and produce better when they feel endearment to their work and those they work for. Providing a benefit to them and their family that’s tangible will go a long way.


2. Save Money

Two facts: having children changes everything for employees, and turnover is expensive.

As many as 43 percent of women feel like they need to leave successful careers to care for children. This takes a major portion of your workforce out of the game and increases your turnover.

Turnover is expensive. In some ways, the cost of replacing a qualified employee costs much more than that person’s salary; and that’s not including the lost productivity of being short a person and the following inefficiency after onboarding a replacement.


3. Compete for Talent, Enable Talent

The unemployment rate is freaky low in the U.S.: 4.3 percent. This means that employers are having to compete for talent more than ever. Many industries like healthcare and manufacturing are in crisis mode, trying to find qualified talent.

The child-rearing responsibilities have long fallen, and continue to fall, to women. An employer that has on-site childcare as part of their commercial development plans shows that they care about enabling women’s careers, an indisputable boon for business.


4. Increase Value to Commercial Development

The economy is recovering, and it looks like the common knowledge is that interest rates will increase. This makes getting the right mix of functions in commercial development more and more challenging than ever. Adding on-site childcare, as far as the building cost goes, is much more affordable than you think.

Childcare in commercial developments is a new and growing opportunity to provide daily traffic in and out of a property.  Further, the design potential for these spaces provides the opportunity to make a commercial space one-of-a-kind. Gyms? Been there. Cafes? Done that.


5. It Practically Pays for Itself

World-renowned outdoor gear and long-time activist company Patagonia has had on-site childcare since the early 1980s. Up to 91 percent of the cost of childcare is recovered directly and indirectly by simply existing on-site, according to the company’s CEO.

In the end, employees, employers, and commercial developers are better served when children are accounted for. At Calbert Design Group, we do so every day in our work. Come meet us, and let us show you how we can make your business more successful through making your space more family-friendly.

-This article was written by Rebecca Calbert. 

Rebecca is a licensed architect with over 30 years of experience.  She owns and operates an architectural firm, Calbert Design Group,  and educates her clients through the commercial real estate development process with online content at SaveOnBuilding.com.  Rebecca’s “purpose” is to educate small business owners and protect them from what they don’t know.

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