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Maximising the ROI of your Office Design Project

Regardless of whether you’re looking at investing in an office fit out, refurbishment or a design and build project, senior managers will need to see proof that there will be a substantial return on their investment (ROI) before signing off on a potentially costly and disruptive project. But how do you win C-suite buy-in? The answer:  A solid business case.

We have explored several benefits of good office design in our previous blogs such as improved employee retention, attracting the best talent, enhancing employee well-being, the potential productivity boost to name but a few, however senior managers need concrete facts and not speculation. We’ve put together a list of ways to measure the potential ROI, considering both tangible and the more intangible benefits derived from an office redesign to ensure that you can make a solid business case for your project.


 1. Operational and Space Costs

The number of employers offering flexible working patterns such as the ability to work remotely is growing, potentially meaning that your office space is rarely being used at its maximum capacity as employees may only be in the office for 3 or 4 days per week. In this case you’re likely under-utilising valuable space which could be re-purposed into an area which adds value to your organisation. Alternatively, an office relocation is certainly an option especially if your lease is close to expiring and you’ve outgrown or are under-utilising your current space.

 The best way to calculate how much you could save in terms of space and therefore costs is by answering the following:

  • What percentage of your workstations are currently not being utilised and how much space does this equate to? – These can be eliminated in any redesign.
  • What is the average cost per workstation in terms of equipment, heating, lighting, cleaning and security?
  • How much would your new office design save in terms of utilities, equipment and maintenance for each workstation?

 crunching numbers

 2. How does your office design add value?

Most business leaders are concerned primarily with how any investment will impact the bottom line; therefore, it is vital to speak in a language they understand- facts and figures. Here are some of the ways in which an office redesign can positively impact your business, supported by cold, hard facts.

Employee Turnover

The cost of replacing an employee can range from 30% of their annual salary for an entry level employee and up to 400% of a high-level employee’s salary, therefore meaning a high churn rate will be detrimental to your business’ bottom line.  

Fortunately investing in a good office redesign can reduce the churn as 48% of employees consider their current office design to have a major impact on whether they stay working for a company. Another study found that 39% of respondents left their previous employer due to a dull office design with 22% of respondents saying they would even  take a pay cut to work in a more inspiring office, reinforcing the need to incorporate modern design ideas into your office space.


Office design can impact productivity both positively and negatively as 2 in 3 office workers in the U.K. say their inadequate office space has an adverse effect on their performance at work. 72%  of employees working for companies with modern work spaces say their more considered, inspiring office design meets their needs and subsequently enhances their productivity.

The best office designs will include a variety of spaces for different working styles, such as spaces for spontaneous collaboration but also spaces where employees can work in peace, allowing the individual to focus on their work away from the chatter of the office floor.

Recruiting the Best and Brightest

An inspiring office design can make or break your business when it comes to leaving the right impression on your desired candidates, especially as 41% of U.K. office workers say that a modern office design is one of the most important considerations when deciding whether to accept a job offer. A modern office can even attract talent from further afield as 66% of candidates said they’d be willing to travel further for the opportunity to work in a modern office.

Office design is a subjective area and any future projects should keep in mind the type of person you’re trying to attract to your business. The millennial generation certainly has office design different tastes when compared to the Baby Boomer generation, with the younger demographic preferring shared spaces and social hubs rather than the Baby Boomers who much prefer the traditional office layout with rows of desks. Companies who offer their employees spaces which meet their needs also reap the benefits in terms of staff loyalty therefore minimising churn.

Employee Wellbeing

Prioritising wellbeing as a key factor in any office design can lead to substantial benefits, especially when businesses incorporates Biophilic design elements into their office space. Modern offices which include plenty of greenery have reported a 30% decrease in sickness related absences as well as a increase in cognition and sleep quality.

Offices with adequate ventilation, lighting and temperature can impact positively impact employee wellbeing and subsequently may increase productivity. Poor air quality and a lack of thermal comfort can each reduce productivity by 10% meaning any office design project should pay careful attention to these important design elements.


The use of sustainable building materials and technology such as LED lighting could be costly in the short term, however the future return on investment may be huge.  Research shows that sustainable office design can potentially reduce annual energy costs by 30 to 50.   

Cost savings aren’t the only reason companies are adopting the latest sustainable innovations as companies use sustainable office design to change their company and their culture, allowing you to attract and retain the right employees for your business.


3. A design that works for others may not work for you

Highly innovative companies such as Hermes in Leeds and in Cheshire derive substantial benefits from including a wide variety of collaborative spaces, however this may not be suitable for everyone. A good office design should look at how your employees work rather than following the latest office design trends, for example an open plan office may not be suitable if your sales team spends most of their time on the phone, especially if other departments are located close by!

The best office design companies work to understand your business needs, designing spaces which accurately reflect your organisational culture whilst taking into account the everyday needs of your business. At Officeinsight we ensure your office design project can achieve the greatest return on your investment, through enhancing employee wellbeing, retention and reducing operational costs, delivering the most inspirational workplaces.


Carlie Dunbar

Written on the 23rd May 2024 by

Working behind the scenes, Carlie assists with the purchasing and setting up of new projects and looks after day-to-day tasks within the office.

Find me on LinkedIn

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