Mar 17, 2023
5 mins read
Workspace Spend Management
As many companies move toward a remote work environment, they are offering coworking benefits to their employees. Coworking spaces can help support better productivity and offer a social environment that can help with employee morale. They’re also necessary for team members who conduct sales meetings or other in-person conferences and still need a physical space in which to meet.
Previously, companies might have had few expenses related to coworking, perhaps from the small number of remote work or hybrid employees, traveling employees, or from full-time freelancers. In these cases, managing the coworking spend was a fairly simple and straightforward task. Employees or contractors would submit invoices or expense reports, and the finance team would reimburse them.
However, as more companies are now fully remote, the volume of invoices and expense reports might grow exponentially, and finance teams might find that their existing systems for managing coworking spend might not be as effective.
Where companies might have allocated office space spend based on square footage, the amounts are now based on very different metrics, like what an employee might spend on an on-demand coworking space. Until now, there has been little precedent for this type of budget and spend, and companies are navigating an influx of invoices and expense reports that are increasingly more difficult to manage.
Similar to travel and expense (T&E), companies will now need to create coworking spend budgets, to help navigate the increase in potential spend. But how do you decide on a coworking spend for your company? Here are a few considerations that can help.
Read more: Why you might need a coworking space budget.
It’s helpful to examine the types of spaces your remote work employees will be needed. In this instance, coworking spaces refers to “on-demand,” where employees can rent a desk or meeting space whenever they need it. So, will your remote work employees be using a desk or space that functions like an office outside of their home? Or will they be needing meeting spaces or conference rooms for client meetings or work gatherings? It’s important to determine what they’ll most likely be using so you can determine what sort of spend to expect.
Because your remote work employees live in different areas, it’s helpful to examine the varying cost of spaces. A meeting space, conference room, or desk in a smaller city or suburban area might be much less than one in Los Angeles or New York City, for example. Taking into account the location of your remote work employees should be an important factor in determining your coworking spend. If you are evaluating cost based on employees who travel, take a look at the average cost in a few of the typical destinations, and consider that as a solid starting point for calculating a potential spend.
Will your C-Suite executives be using coworking spaces for meetings? Will the coworking spaces be used by salespeople? It’s imperative that you examine which specific employees and executives will be using the coworking spaces, as this might greatly affect the budget you allocate. You might 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.
Along with creating a coworking spend budget that you can track, as well as a coworking policy that specifically outlines the benefits being offered to employees along with the process for making requests and submitting expense reports, you might consider tapping into the services provided by Flexspace, which functions as a hub for on-demand coworking spaces. This will give you the ease of searching, booking, invoicing, and managing everything related to coworking spaces, all in one platform. Additionally, Flexspace allows you to adjust your budget in real-time, taking into account how much (or how little) is being used by your remote work employees.