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Budgeting for flexible workspaces: What you need to know

Budgeting for flexible workspaces: What you need to know

Dec 4, 2023

5 mins read

Workspace Spend Management

While budgeting for flexible workspaces isn’t a new concept, companies have typically managed it on an ad hoc basis, with individuals submitting their expense reports or reimbursement requests after usage. 

For a small number of employees utilizing flexible workspaces, perhaps for a hot desk while traveling or a meeting room for clients, that may have worked. But as companies are transitioning to remote or hybrid work settings and becoming more reliant on flexible workspaces as a replacement for a physical office in one capacity or another, there’s a greater need to more strategically address budgeting for flexible workspaces. 

If your business offers flexible workspace benefits to remote or hybrid work employees, it’s possible that the number of expense reports and reimbursement requests will increase. And the previous methods your team used to manage this type of spending may not be effective. 

In order to budget for flexible workspaces, it’s important to take these factors into consideration. 

1. What type of flexible workspaces will the employees need? 

From on-demand coworking spaces to pay-as-you-go, not all flexible workspaces are created equal. Some function as a replacement or “unofficial” office, while others are more for conferences, meetings, and events. Understanding what the needs of your team will be, along with actually available in their area, will help you gain a better sense of what type of budget is going to be necessary. 

2. Where does your remote or hybrid workforce live? 

Because teams can be anywhere in the world these days, it’s important to know where the people who want to use flexible workspaces live and what the typical cost is for the various options. On-demand coworking spaces in a larger city, like Paris or Manhattan are going to cost much more than a rural or suburban space. If you have team members who travel, whether it’s actually for their job or they are self-described digital nomads, it’s helpful to know where they typically travel to (or where they will be headed) so that you can get a starting point. 

3. What team members will be using flexible workspaces? And how?

There’s a potential that your budget for flexible workspaces will be determined by the title of the worker using the space, and how exactly they will be utilizing it. 

For example, C-Suite executives might be using the spaces for client meetings or in-person conferences, so you’ll want to consider that cost (and how important aesthetics are to best represent the brand). Do they need high-tech capabilities to be able to host presentations and conferences with global colleagues? 

If you’re thinking about a sales team that will be selling a product or service to potential clients, you might want to think about a budget that gives them more flexibility in choosing a space that’s convenient for their customers and represents the mission of the company in a positive way. 

When you have a full understanding of who on your team will be tapping into flexible workspaces, as well as the ways in which they will be utilizing them (on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis), you can better create a budget. 

Getting employee feedback is a smart way to get a better understanding of what your team needs. A simple, short survey of your team can be used to get a sense of their plans to use flexible workspaces. Gathering and then analyzing those responses is an excellent starting point for creating a flexible workspace budget.