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Apr 3, 2023
6 mins read
Workspace Spend Management
In the past, companies might have been managing coworking space usage on an ad hoc basis, with employees submitting receipts or expense reports for reimbursement. And while that might have worked for the few employees who were regularly using coworking spaces as replacement offices, or for those who were booking coworking spaces for meetings, as more companies go fully remote and understand the value and importance of coworking spaces, the greater the need for a coworking spend budget.
If your company offers coworking space benefits in some capacity to remote work employees who are now in a permanent hybrid work or remote work environment, you might just see the number of receipts and expense reports jump. And while it’s quite possible that your team is equipped to manage that number of reimbursement requests, a much higher amount of money is going toward reimbursement for coworking spaces. This might require reconsidering the category that coworking space expenses is filed under and paid from.
The process of creating a coworking space budget isn’t unique. Understanding the amount of money per month that has been allocated for coworking spaces, you can cross-reference that with your research on the average cost for spaces in the cities where your employees live, and then create a budget that you can track against. However, the considerations for deciding what sort of spend your employees should get might be.
Not all on-demand coworking spaces are created equal. Some only offer meeting spaces and conference rooms. Others offer desk and office space. So, will your employees be needing spaces for client meetings and in-person team conferences? Or will the spaces be utilized by remote employees who need a desk at which to work? It’s important to determine what they’ll most likely be using so you can determine what sort of spend to expect.
In order to do that, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with what’s actually available. Since in the past, many coworking spaces functioned on a membership-only basis, you might need to do more research to understand what’s actually available to your employees.
READ MORE: Why you need a coworking spend budget.
Because a distributed workforce can mean people live anywhere in the world, you’ll want to understand where the people who want to use the coworking spaces the most live. An on-demand coworking space in a larger city like Los Angeles or New York City is going to cost much more than something in a smaller city and suburban area. For employees who travel, you can look at their frequent destinations and take an average cost as a starting point.
It’s possible that employees in more suburban or rural areas may not even have access to coworking spaces at this time. However, as the demand for coworking spaces grows, the potential for more to open up to traditionally smaller areas is pretty high.
Presumably, your budget will be determined based on the title of the employee using the space, and how they will be utilizing it. If your C-Suite executives will be using the spaces for client meetings or in-person conferences with the full executive team, then you might want to create a budget that offers them the ability to book a beautiful meeting space to represent the aesthetic of their brand. Additionally, they might need rooms and spaces that have high-tech capabilities, for presentations and conferencing of global colleagues. Similarly, if you’re looking for spaces for your salespeople who will be selling your products or services to new, potential customers, you’ll want to consider a budget for them that gives them the freedom to choose a space that’s convenient for their clientele, and positively represents the mission of the company.
Having a full understanding of who will be using on-demand coworking spaces, and how they will be using them will greatly affect the budget you will allocate. One smart approach is to consider conducting a short survey of your team to get a sense of who specifically plans to take advantage of the coworking space benefit that is being offered to them as a starting point. Then, you can better plan your coworking spend, and your coworking spend budget.