Workspace Consultancy Questions
Whether you’re planning an office refurbishment, relocation, or expansion, there are a lot of decisions to make. Given the high costs and uncertainty, many companies consider using a workspace consultant to help them plan their workspace strategy and projects.
Real estate projects are complex and expensive. There are a lot of factors to consider and decisions to make. The consequences of your project going wrong could be disastrous for you and your company. It’s important you make well-informed decisions so that your project is a success.
As a design & build company, we’ve been helping companies to refurbish, relocate, and fit out their offices across the UK for over 15 years. If you are thinking about using a workspace consultant but aren’t sure if it's necessary, this article will break down what they do and why you might need one. We’ll go through the most common questions companies have when they speak to us about workspace consultancy.
By the end, you’ll have a high-level understanding of what is involved in workspace consultancy and whether it is right for your company or not. We’ll also include links to other resources that will help you research each question in more detail.
What Actually Is Workspace Consultancy?
Despite it being such a major topic, few people understand exactly what a workspace consultant is and what they do. A consultant is not a project director or designer. They are a consultant that analyses your workspace strategy and how your people work. They make recommendations that will inform your real estate strategy and workspace design.
Exactly what they do will vary by consultant and by project. However, all consultants collect qualitative and quantitative data to understand how your people currently work and what is holding them back. They will collect this information through interviews, focus groups, surveys, and occupancy tracking. They will then analyse this information to produce a report that will make recommendations on how your workspace should be designed to suit the needs of your company. To learn more about what workspace consultancy is and what it involves, read this article.
Why Does Workspace Consultancy Matter?
A workspace consultant can provide expertise and data to help inform your real estate strategy and office design. However, how do they actually bring value to your company? There are 5 common benefits that a workspace consultant provides to the companies they work with. The first is to increase the efficiency of your office layout, reducing how much office space you need. They can also make design recommendations to improve the collaboration, productivity, and engagement of your people.
The data they collect and their expertise means you can be much more confident in your decisions. To learn more about the benefits that a workspace consultant can provide, read 5 Ways Office Consultancy Can Improve Your Company Performance.
How Much Does Workspace Consultancy Cost?
Another very common question we get asked is “How much does workspace consultancy cost?” Unfortunately, the answer 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. Some consultants will charge a fixed fee per project. Others will charge an hourly rate.
The key cost is the time of the consultant, though there may be other costs for software and equipment. Online surveys can cost as little as £30 per person, while leadership workshops could cost as much as £3,000. Occupancy surveys are much more complicated, so will cost between £30000 and £12000. The final report will normally cost between £3,000 and £10,000 depending on the amount of data collected. To learn more about workspace consultancy costs, read this article.
How Long Does Workspace Consultancy Take?
Office consultancy timeframes are highly variable. Some elements such as interviews and focus groups are relatively quick to complete. As they are one-stage meetings, a consultant will usually conduct them within a day. Multi-round surveys are more time-consuming. They require time for your staff to fill out, and each has to be analysed before the next one. These will usually take 2-4 weeks. Occupancy studies or observation sessions often take a lot longer to gain the required quantity of data – up to 3 months.
As well as the time required to collate the data, your consultant will need time to analyse the data and create their report. Again, this will be heavily dependent on how much data they collected. If their scope only included leadership workshops and staff surveys, then it will be relatively straightforward. Larger reports will take much longer to produce.
Do I Need Workspace Consultancy or Not?
A lot of the questions we get asked about office consultancy lead up to this one – “Is workspace consultancy relevant for me?”. Sometimes, our answer is no. While workspace consultancy can be very valuable, it is not always worth the financial and time cost.
If you are relocating your office, then it is certainly worth considering a workspace consultant. They will be very helpful in helping you decide the criteria for your new space in terms of location, size, design features and so on. Given that relocation will impact your business for 5-10 years, the input of an expert is very valuable.
For a refurbishment, a consultant is not always necessary. The problems are typically more obvious, and a good interior designer will have the ability to conduct leadership workshops and get input from your staff to inform their design. To learn more about whether you should hire a workspace consultant or not, read “Do I Need Workspace Consultancy?”
Should I Use a Design & Build Company or a Specialist Consultant for my Consultancy?
Another question we often get asked when speaking to companies about workspace consultancy is “Should I use a fit out company or a specialist consultant?”. Again, the answer is “It depends”. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options.
A design and build company will typically conduct a consultancy process ahead of an office relocation or refurbishment. As a result, the focus will be on informing the design of the future office. It will typically be more practical and actionable. As the same company does the consultancy and the design, there is much better integration between the phases.
On the other hand, the process of a specialist consultant is more data-based. Using their specialist equipment, they will be able to collect and analyse more data than a fit out company. However, because they don’t work directly with the designer, there is a risk of the designer misunderstanding the report. They will also not be available later in the project, unlike in-house consultancy. To learn more about the different approaches and their respective benefits and drawbacks, read this article.
Got more Questions?
Now that you know more about your top office consultancy concerns, you’re much better educated about what workspace consultancy is and if it is (or isn’t) right for you. If you have any other questions about workspace consultancy, explore our insights centre for more educational content. Check out our latest articles, most popular articles, and free guides. Alternatively, feel free to reach out with any more specific questions you have or detailed answers you need. We’d love to help you.