Costs of the flex office: possible expenses and savings

Flex Office
May 11, 2023
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Today, remote work is an integral part of most employees' lives. According to the latest Parella report, 70% of them are able to work remotely, and 31% say they do so regularly.

remote work offers many advantages that employees don't necessarily find in corporate offices, such as greater flexibility in working hours. But it also reduces stress and fatigue, while promoting a better work-life balance.

As a result, teams visit the office less often. On average, employees spend 3.6 days a week at remote work (Malakoff Humanis, 2021). This poses a problem of space occupation, which has prompted some companies to change over to flex office: working on site without a dedicated office.

However, the transition to the flex office must be prepared. The costs and savings it can generate can be anticipated. So what are the new expenses of the flex office? How can corporate real estate departments save money with this new organization?

The costs of the flex office

There are two types of costs related to the flex office:

  • Expenses during the transition to the flex office, such as office layout or redesign.
  • Expenses to manage the flex office on a daily basis. A good flex office that lasts over time and federates the teams, requires new habits and daily management. Don't worry, we have the solution for you, to discover below!

The reorganization of spaces

Most of the time, a move to a flex office is accompanied by expenses to standardize the spaces, and more particularly the workstations. This means reorganizing them. The goal of the real estate project is to adapt them to this new way of working, which is more collaborative, with more open spaces and meeting rooms for the teams. Various expenses are then to be expected:

  • Advice from a firm specializing in the workplace
  • The services of an architectural firm to imagine the new spaces and a different layout
  • Labor for the realization of the work: moving partitions, changing floors, lights, etc.

The purchase of equipment and furniture

The new space is accompanied by new services for employees. The team in charge of the flex office project must then plan potential purchases for the new environment:

  • Lockers for employees to store their personal belongings, hence the need for a "clean desk policy
  • New furniture: desks, chairs, sofas, etc.
  • Computer equipment: computers, printers, etc.

These are necessary investments that will pay off in the future. Your employees will be able to work in good conditions and will be more productive!

Daily management of the flex office

Once the spaces have been reorganized, they must be managed on a daily basis. It is then preferable to find a solution of organization of the flex office which will be able to make live the office in a fluid way.

The prices, the functionalities and the integration catalog are very different from one tool to another. It is therefore important to ensure that the solution you choose meets the expectations of the company in terms of management and those of its employees.

➡️ To help you in this task, our experts have created a checklist to find your ideal flex office tool!

The implementation of such a tool involves expenses: subscription, deployment to administrators and then to all employees. But think of the benefits you will get from it. This is when you start to see a return on investment. You can either save money or reinvest for the benefit of your employees.

The savings possible with the flex office

The decrease in the number of workstations

In 2022, an employee's workstation cost, including all charges, €12,481 (Buzzy Ratios). After salaries, it is the second largest source of expenses for a company.

With fewer employees coming to the office each day, the flex office can reduce the number of workstations needed for the same number of employees. This results in a reduction in costs.

Let's take the example of a company that would go from 1000 to 800 workstations. With 1000 workstations, the annual expenses would be 12 481 000€. But by going to 800 workstations thanks to the flex office, it can save nearly 2.5 million euros, or 20% over a year, which is not negligible!

To go further, discover how the French giant Bic reinvented its spaces!

Reduction of energy costs

Inflation and the energy crisis are pushing many companies to reduce their consumption. With fewer employees on site, you have the opportunity to act. For example, depending on the number of employees, you can concentrate them in one area and close the others. This is the solution that Allianz France has tried by closing one of its Parisian towers on Fridays for 3 months.

Savings are then possible:

  • In heating, note that this expense item can reach 50% of the energy bill
  • In lighting, which represents nearly 20% of the bill, by installing low-energy bulbs for example
  • With fewer electronic devices on

Staggering the days when employees are present will avoid energy consumption peaks. This logic of reducing expenses will have to be accentuated in the coming years. Already in 2019, the government had brought into force a regulatory obligation: theÉco Energie Tertiaire. In the fight against climate change, it imposes a reduction in energy consumption of companies in the tertiary sector of more than 1000 m². In 2030, the tertiary sector will have to reduce its consumption by 40%, in 2040 by 50% and in 2050 by 60%.

This is why the flex office is an interesting and effective lever to achieve these objectives!

Reduction of costs related to company restaurants

Companies can leverage corporate restaurants to optimize expenses and adjust resources. In recent years, their attendance and usage have changed dramatically due to several factors:

  • Fewer people on the premises with the remote work
  • Food costs rising with inflation
  • Strong competition with local restaurants and delivery services

A drop in attendance of 10 to 30% can be observed with one day less of attendance (according to BFM Business). It is then necessary to review the organization and the various expenses around these company restaurants.

For example, with a flex office management tool, you could see who is in the office to forecast and manage the quantities needed in order to adjust spending and avoid waste.

To sum up, despite the expenses that may be involved in setting up a flex office, it is entirely possible to save money. This flexible office system has many financial advantages. But it would be a pity to consider flex office only in this light. Above all, it's a way of breathing new life into your organization, while streamlining and maintaining social ties. Among our customers, we observe that the money saved through flex office is often reinvested, particularly in the employee experience!

Any doubts? Discover our analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the flex office.

Want to go further? Download our white paper on the new expectations of employees in the office!