Office space is like staff training or product development. It’s an investment in your company’s future. It’s also a big investment. For many companies, it's the second-highest expense after staff costs. Like any smart investment, however, it not only pays for itself in immediate ROI. It helps create a great culture that sets your business up for lasting success.
So how can you maximise the return on your investment in your office space? How can you be sure that your office is the best it can be so that your staff are set up for success? From defining your workspace vision to analysing exactly how your staff use your space, workspace consultancy is a powerful tool. It helps ensure you are getting the best possible return on your investment in your office space and your people.
So how much does workspace consultancy cost? The answer, as always, is “it depends”. It depends on what services you require, the amount of data needed to make decisions, and the amount of time your workspace consultant will need to spend on your project.
Not all companies need all stages of workspace consultancy. It’s important to consider what your needs are and what will deliver the maximum ROI. The most common elements of workspace consultancy include:
In this article, we’ll explain each of these 5 elements of workspace consultancy, as well as what you can expect to pay for each. We’ll then give an overview of your total workplace consultancy costs, and show you how to decide if workspace consultancy is right for you.
The first step of workspace consultancy is a leadership workshop. The purpose of this is to understand the overall vision and what senior leaders want their workspace to achieve. By gaining clarity over what you feel are the key outcomes, we will uncover what the essential requirements and key priorities are. This workshop will also establish your overall appetite for change and testing ideas.
This will cost between £800 and £3000 depending on the size of your leadership team, the complexity of your needs, and any extra workshops required to fully define your workspace vision. Even if you don’t proceed with a full workspace consultancy package, many design and build companies will include it in their design package, as it is a crucial foundation for any successful office fit out.
In addition to your executive leadership team, it may be necessary to get more input from managers to understand their essential requirements, as well as team-specific needs and challenges. This would be done through one-to-one interviews. It may also be necessary to interview staff from key departments such as IT and HR to understand key priorities for improvement. This would also help uncover relevant business challenges such as poor talent attraction and retention.
The cost for this stage will depend on how many interviews have to be carried out. Most interviews will cost between £500 and £800 per person. This may increase if workshops are required between departments, or if there are conflicting requirements that need to be managed.
Staff Engagement Surveys
The next step is to send out online workspace surveys to all your staff. There will probably be multiple rounds, each building on the results from previous surveys. These will enable your workspace consultant to understand how your people currently use your office, how would prefer to work, and most importantly, the gap in between. These surveys will also look to gauge typical working patterns and thoughts about change.
To run a 3-round online workspace survey will cost in the region of £50-£80 per staff member, depending on the length of the survey, and the amount of analysis required. A single-round survey will cost about £30 per head. This is an excellent way to understand the needs and perspectives of all your staff, not just a vocal minority.
Workshops, interviews, and surveys can collect a lot of valuable insight, but a lot of it is based on opinions and self-reporting, which is not always accurate. To gain a truly objective understanding of the way your people use your office, a space utilisation study is necessary. Sensors and cameras take snapshots of occupancy levels throughout the day and week. This builds up a detailed picture of exactly how your people use the office.
Depending on the size of your office and the length of time the sensors are collecting data, it will cost £3,000 - £10,000 to carry out an occupancy study. This is comprised of two parts: the equipment and the analysis. The hardware cost includes the use of the trackers as well as installing and decommissioning. The analysis involves your consultant analysing the data to not only understand how your people use the space currently but how your space utilisation can be improved in future.
Once all the data and information has been collected from your workshops, interviews, surveys, and studies, it needs to be analysed and distilled into a comprehensive report. This report will contain the main findings from the data and a detailed set of recommendations including:
- Overall Workplace Strategy
- Breakdown of Workspace Requirements
- Space budget options (Modelled sq/ft requirements)
- Supportive recommendations around wellbeing, sustainability, inclusivity, and change
The cost to produce this report will obviously be very dependent on how many of the previous stages have been carried out. It will cost between £3,000 and £12,000. This cost will also include time with your workspace consultant to go through the key findings of your report with you.
Workspace Consultancy Costs 2022
So how much will you need to spend on workspace consultancy? The answer, as always is “it depends”. The figures quoted here cover a range of consultancy projects we’ve worked on in recent months, from 3,500 sq/ft refurbishments to 20,000sq/ft office relocations. The primary factor in your final cost is your consultant’s time, so it depends on their daily rate and how much time they will need to spend working on your report.
For a company with 50 staff needing help to define their workspace vision and a 3-round survey to understand staff engagement, a consultancy package could cost £6,500. On the other hand, a company with 200 staff and highly complex needs that require a full consultancy package could incur costs of £50,000 or more.
Do I Need Workspace Consultancy?
Many prospective clients we work with struggle to see the value of workplace consultancy and if it is right for them. Workspace consultancy isn’t right for everyone, it depends on the motivations behind your project and the certainty you have around the improvements to be made. When deciding if you need workspace consultancy or not, you also need to consider the benefits a fully optimised office would bring.
If, for example, you are relocating because you have chosen not to renew your lease, and you are happy with the performance of your office, then workspace consultancy is not going to be a good investment. If, on the other hand, you are conscious of falling productivity levels and your staff are complaining that the space does not suit the way they work, then workspace consultancy is worth considering.
Workspace consultancy offers your company the opportunity to understand exactly what you need your workspace to achieve, how it is performing at the moment, and how you can close that gap. Ensuring your leadership team is fully aligned on what your office can and should achieve is an essential first step. Depending on your circumstances, you may need further consultancy input for certain departments to understand how an improved office can solve their major challenges. Staff surveys are a simple and cost-effective way to get feedback from all your staff. For objective occupancy data, space utilisation analysis will give you a highly accurate understanding of how your staff use your office. Combining all of this data in a report that prevents a compelling vision for the future of your workspace as well as a road map to get there will ensure you can create the best possible workspace for your needs.
Wanting to understand more about how workspace consultancy can help your business? At Zentura, we meet every week with companies who know they need to change but don’t know how to. Covid-19 has changed the way we work and in turn, how our workspaces will be used. This means workplace consultancy is more important than ever in ensuring you make informed workplace strategy decisions.
Our process helps you understand your office and your people. We collect measurable insights into your office space and your people that enable you to make intelligent data-informed decisions. You can streamline costs whilst increasing employee engagement and wellbeing. Our service is scalable to meet your requirements, timescales, and budget. We can help you ensure a smarter, optimised workspace with more productive people. Contact one of our workspace consultants today.