After your employees, your office and facilities are your business’s largest operating expenses. When you’re reviewing your quarterly or annual office operations budget, there’s always an incentive to save money, cut down on overhead, and increase profitability.
However, short-term cost savings, such as using inexpensive materials during an office renovation or hiring the cheapest service provider, don’t necessarily save the most money for your company. Value engineering is focused on improving a space’s performance over time to reduce overall expenses. Understanding how to plan for long-term value for your space will help ensure you save money and spend efficiently.
Value engineering in your space
If you are undertaking routine maintenance such as repainting walls or undertaking a full-scale office renovation, think about how the systems you implement and the materials you choose can deliver greater value over time.
Take into account the length of your lease and how long you plan on staying when you select construction and finishing materials. For example, if you have a 10 year lease for your office, you would want to choose a flooring option that would last for 10 years. In general, you want to choose fixtures that are easy to clean and repair.
Here are a few ways you may choose to spend more upfront to save money in the long run:
- Invest in LED lights that save on energy costs and reduce the need to change bulbs
- Use paint that can be easily wiped down and touched up
- Choose flooring or carpeting that resists wear and can be easily cleaned and replaced
- Install electric hand dryers in the bathroom that can save money on paper towels and reduce waste
- If renovating, opt for acoustical ceiling tiles, which allow for easier configuration and access than sheetrock ceilings
Changes such as these may seem small, but the cost savings they deliver over time add up.
Review your commercial lease
When looking to save money on office operations, consider office services as well as materials. It’s common for commercial tenants to pay for services that are already included in their rent, so reviewing your commercial lease can be a crucial part of your budgeting process. Your lease outlines which services your rent includes and which you are responsible for sourcing and paying for. For example, your rent may cover weekly cleaning, but you as the tenant may be responsible for daytime tidying, trash hauling, exterior window washing, and HVAC maintenance.
While your landlord may tell you verbally what your building does and does not provide, your lease will clarify the details. Revisit your lease, or carefully review your lease before you move into a new space, to understand which services you can ask your landlord to set up. If you are unsure, you can also request a free lease analysis from Managed by Q’s workplace experts.
Book recurring services
Once you have a clear understanding of the services you need to procure for your office, you can work with your vendors to see if they can provide multiple services on a recurring basis and offer you a discount. For example, a service provider might be able to take care of both your daily cleaning and quarterly carpet steaming. If you usually book specialty services like floor buffing or exterior window washing on as as-needed basis, switching to a recurring schedule may enable you to pay less. In addition, if you book the same vendor for multiple services, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate than if you were to use separate vendors.
While engineering for value may require an investment of time, as well as money, a more efficient space will pay off. For more guidance and ideas for value engineering in you space, download Managed by Q’s free guide to office construction and renovation.