When it comes to pricing up the cost of a new workspace, it can be difficult. There are many different factors to take into consideration and the level of fit outs can also vary greatly depending on the needs of the business.
Facing workspace costs can be overwhelming. On the surface of things, it can appear that serviced workspaces are a much more expensive option to leasing. However, when delving deeper into the costs of leased and serviced options, the latter can be a considerably more expensive solution.
What’s more, the flexible workspace market has developed rapidly over the last decade and many landlords now consult their clients on the design process. This allows greater freedom to style a workspace your way without inflating costs.
However, for larger businesses, the privacy and freedom of a lease is often more appealing, and it can be useful to understand the costs involved before signing on the dotted line.
The below provides an average guide to the sorts of figures that are involved in a standard London office lease. The size is based on a 1,300 sq. m. workspace which would typically accommodate around 200 staff.
Open-plan Office Suite
This is the largest proportion of the workspace and involves the biggest cost. It includes paint or wall finishes inclusive of magnetic/writable walls. Raised access floors including floor boxes and floor tiles. Suspended ceiling tiles and all mechanical services i.e. heating, air conditioning, lighting, ventilation and fire detectors. Factoring in window blinds and health and safety signage at this point is also important.
Total: £541,748 – £/m² 668 = 811 m²
Meeting rooms also need consideration in an office fit out. As well as the usual raised ceiling and floor boards, partition walls and paintwork, a business may need extras such as sound proofing and video conferencing facilities. There are in fact a number of components to a meeting room that can drive up the cost of a workspace fit out.
Total: £110,608 – £/m² 1784 = 62m²
There is even more involved in the assembly of the workspace when it comes to tea points or kitchen spaces. This will of course require plumbing and a large amount of electrical work for various appliances. The joinery of a tea point or kitchenette is another main feature that will need factoring in to the final cost.
Total: £118,523 – £/m² 1769 = 67m²
Breakout space can be many things from a row of focus booths to a simple arm chair. But they are all important within the modern workspace and all require some level of consideration when fitting out a new office.
In comparison to the office suite itself, there are generally a few more design considerations that go into breakout space. These areas aim to spark the imagination and inspire an otherwise struggling mind. Therefore costs may include various paints of differing finishes, art work, pin board or writable walls, glass partitions, a change in flooring and more complex lighting.
Total: £107,448 – £/m² 1221 = 88m²
Whether a formal business lounge or waiting room for important clients, or a less formal homely style lounge perfect for destressing, a lounge is a great feature of many modern workspaces.
The styles can vary greatly but both fundamentally need to be calm and relaxing. This means there is a lot to consider when fitting it out from the possibility of sound proofing to the connectivity aspect.
Total: £69,822 – £/m² 1293 = 54m²
Businesses can usually expect to pay £500 to £600 plus per head for furniture of a good standard. Typically, this would include a desk, chair, some personal storage and a shared desk screen/divider. However, this is only within the office suite itself. Furniture in meeting rooms, lounge areas and at refreshment spots plus any additional breakout space all need consideration too. This could easily push the cost to £750-£1250 per person.
Factoring all of this into an average workspace of around 1,300 m² doesn’t leave much room for anything other than a W/C. This design is quite typical of the type of workspace the modern day employee expects and the cost can easily total over £1,000,000 before furnishings and security.
This indicates why companies who chose to lease their workspace generally stay put for 5-10 years. The expense of such a fit out keeps businesses tied to a space in order to spread the cost and make it worthwhile. Flexible workspaces on the other hand cover this cost whilst allowing businesses the option to leave or adjust after just one year or less. Good planning and some great research prior to a workspace fit out is also essential. This way you can be sure the fit out is complete in a timely and cost effective manner.