The Top Three Office Cost Savings Opportunities

Eleanor Whitney
January 7, 2020

As office operations teams plan and budget for the new year, many are looking to reduce costs and increase efficiency in their facilities and operations. To enable cost-conscious operations leaders to create more accurate budgets, Managed by Q has collected data from thousands of companies across the US and identified three major areas where office operations teams can find potentially significant cost savings.


1. Information Technology

IT slowdowns and failures can negatively impact both employee productivity and a company’s bottom line. According to Robert Half Technology, employees lose more than 91 hours a year to IT-related issues, which breaks down to about 1.82 hours a week, or 4% of the work week.

Ensuring your network remains reliable, fast, and secure requires around the clock support from experienced IT professionals. As you plan your budget for the next year, review your IT plan. Do you have a system that employees can use to easily report IT outages and requests? Do you need additional services or support outside of what an in-house IT staff member can provide?

For many small-to-medium sized businesses, the expense of a full time IT professional can be outside of their budget. You may consider outsourcing your IT services and maintenance to a managed IT provider, which can be an opportunity for cost savings based on your company size, industry, and IT needs.


2. Office Experience

Running an amenity-filled office can be a drag on employee productivity if you do not have effective office management systems and processes in place. Based on our research, we found that employees spend 30% of their work week, about 14.1 hours or 1.5 days, on “office housework” such as chores and administrative tasks. An additional 8% of their time is wasted on interruptions for non-essential tasks, according to Workfront.

A skilled office manager can set up operational processes that minimize the need for employees to assume office housework, while personally taking on much of the administrative work that serves as a distraction for other teams. However, at least 30% of an office manager’s time is spent on repetitive, lower-level tasks such as tidying, grocery and supply stocking, distributing packages, and other receptionist duties, which prevent them from prioritizing employee requests and higher value projects.

Audit how your office manager or employee experience team is spending their time. If they are spending a large percentage of their workday on lower-level, time-intensive tasks, consider hiring part-time help. These are essential office functions, but the office manager may not be the most cost-efficient staff member to fulfill these duties. Hiring a part-time daytime porter or receptionist could enable more experienced staff members to focus on higher-level priorities.


3. Facilities Services

Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA) reported an average office spent 41% of their budgets on fixed costs such as taxes and insurance, followed by 17% on repairs and maintenance, and 13% on regular and specialty cleaning. Despite being a significant source of spending, many companies fail to adequately budget for annual maintenance.

Often companies include line items for new construction projects but omit or underestimate the cost of general upkeep. Planning and budgeting for preventative maintenance, as well as electrical, mechanical, and technological upgrades can prevent small problems and inefficiencies from turning into major, unanticipated expenses—especially in older buildings.

Review your maintenance plans for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems, as well as seasonal services to identify opportunities where you can consolidate vendors and save money by booking in advance.

For deeper insight into how you identify inefficiencies in your office, Managed by Q has released a new research paper focused on streamlining office operations. This paper analyzes office operations data and statistics and outlines opportunities for cost savings for offices of any size. It enables operations and facilities teams to make more efficient budgeting and spending decisions from a technology, office management, and facilities maintenance perspective.


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