Companies are facing all-time low office utilization figures after the pandemic is shifting away, simply because people are not returning to the office. Most companies are then seeking opportunities in rightsizing their offices, and this is where a desk sharing solution comes into the picture.
Employees’ changing habits are not the only thing to consider. The purpose of offices is changing as well, towards a more collaborative approach. Therefore, this is the perfect time to try and gain an advantage from your office space, for your company’s and employees’ benefit.
According to a report by Leesman, knowledge corporations have a 50% peak occupancy during the week, meaning that a 1:2 desk sharing ratio could be used. This means that instead of having one table per employee, you can allocate one desk to two employees. Let’s see how that translates into the 1145 % ROI and what other benefits it brings.
Building blocks for ROI calculation
From our point of view, the best modern workplaces, with state-of-the-art desk sharing solutions, consist of a mixture of desks, rooms, and zones, and the ratios depend on the company’s ambitions. A well-designed, versatile office that serves many working styles is the goal for every company in our view.
However, there is not a one-size fits all solution here, and all modern workplace strategies are dependent on your organization’s culture and its behavior, such as the activity and preferences of the employees. So, how do you know how to best design your office and make sure it benefits you in the long run?
Calculating the 1145% ROI
The goal of inputting a desk sharing solution is to repurpose and redesign the office to create a better workplace for the employees, but also bring monetary value to the company.
Let’s start the calculation with a few basic assumptions: We are using Copenhagen as the Nordic city for this example, where the average rent for a best-of-the-best city center location is 286€/m2 per year. For this example, we use a 10,000m2 office space as the starting point.
Based on our experience, we can assume that the office previously had 75% desks, 15% meeting rooms, and 10% social spaces, and it used to have one desk per employee. Going by the Leesman desk sharing ratio of one desk per two employees, that 75% allocated for desks can be cut in half.
This means that 37,5% of the space can be removed, resulting in the new office space being 6250m2. Of course, making this change is not free, and there are some transaction costs as well as the cost of the new desk sharing solution, which will be accounted for in the calculation.
Original office size: 10000m2
The original cost of the office, per year: 2,860,000€
Rightsized office size: 6250m2
The new cost of the office, per year: 1,787,500€
This means an annual saving of 1,072,500€
The transaction costs related to the new office, including the desk sharing solution, can be estimated to be 15€/m2.
The cost of the change then is 93,750€.
The ROI is then calculated as:
(1,072,500€ / 93,650€) x 100 = 1145,2
= ROI of ~1145%
Note that this ROI is calculated only with the rent and transaction costs included. There are other factors that you may include, but it highlights how beneficial moving into a desk sharing solution can be!
The business case for desk sharing solutions is clear. It is a solution that can deliver a great return on investment, but also improves your workspace.