How to maximise the ROI on your office fitout

Ok, so we all agree it’s time to update the office environment. The ideas board is overloaded with fantastic concepts & exciting drawings. But how do we win management buy-in to prove that there will be a substantial return on investment (ROI) in fulfilling this costly & disruptive project?

Well firstly, we need to establish what workplace ROI is.

Put simply, it’s a measure of how our physical office space impacts the profitability of the company. In today’s world, our offices are investments. Instead of the office being just a place where people work, it can be transformed into a powerful business tool by investing money into the correct redesign.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a simple checklist for you to come up with your own solid business case that measures your workplace ROI.


FIRST ASK: How will your office redesign affect the bottom line?
THEN WORK OUT: Space & operations 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. 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 is by asking:

  • What percentage of your workstations are currently not being utilised and how much space does this equate to?
  • 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?


FIRST ASK: How does your office redesign have a positive effect on revenue?
THEN WORK OUT: Your employees are the company’s biggest expense, so even small improvements on their comfort and productivity can have a marked effect on the redesign’s ROI. Take note of:

  • 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 company’s bottom line. Investing in a good office redesign can reduce this, as 48% of employees consider their current office design to have a major impact on whether they stay working for a company.
  • Productivity
    Office design can impact productivity both positively and negatively as 2 in 3 office workers 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 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 & quiet.
  • Employee Wellbeing
    Prioritising wellbeing as a key factor in any office design can lead to substantial benefits. Modern offices which include plenty of greenery have reported a 30% decrease in sickness related absences as well as an increase in cognition and sleep quality. Offices with adequate ventilation, lighting and temperature can 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 redesign should pay careful attention to these important elements.
  • Sustainability
    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 – 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.


FIRST ASK: How does your office redesign reflect the way your company works?
THEN WORK OUT: A design that works for others may not work for you. In order to improve function and flow of the entire workplace and provide employees with a redesign that will work best for them, it is important to use evidence-based design. This means that, rather than creating a design based on assumptions, and forcing employees to adapt to their new surroundings, you instead configure the design based on the culture of your organisation and the ways in which your employees prefer to work. For example, an open-plan layout might save space and increase collaboration – but it may not necessarily be the best arrangement for your sales team if they spend most of their time on the phone, especially if other departments are located close by. Evidence-based design can help ensure you get maximum ROI from your workplace redesign, ensuring it is tailor-made to deliver happier employees and greater profits.

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 Formline Group, we ensure your office redesign can achieve the greatest return on your investment, through enhancing employee wellbeing, retention and reducing operational costs, delivering the most inspirational workplaces.

Determining workplace ROI is a powerful way to gain new perspectives on your professional space. It will help provide insights that can guide major decisions about renovation, relocation or expansion.

It can also help shed light on little changes that have a big impact.

Once you start asking questions and collecting data, you’ll find all sorts of ways to remove obstacles to productivity. You’ll plug leaks and smooth edges and silence distractions. You’ll boost morale, increase engagement and build culture. And most importantly, you’ll knock down the barriers that keep good people from doing great work!



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