The Office is Not Dead. The ROI Has Changed.

The role of office space to accomplish daily work has changed forever.  That is one thing of which we can be certain. It is undeniable that for most companies, we have learned through field testing that staff can work remotely for some period of time with no loss in productivity and remote work can offer attractive personal benefits to the staff.

Return on Investment (ROI) is a measurement of the value that is achieved from the results of any investment. It is most often calculated based on a Cash Return / Cash Investment formula, although there are other objectives of investments such as goals for sustainability, staff satisfaction and retention, diversity, community service and goodwill.

Office space will play an important role for the vast majority of many companies for years to come. There is no denying that corporate offices provide advantages besides simply housing staff: culture, brand statement, identity. They are also a necessity for staff that do not have good work from home settings, such as those with small children at home or inferior connectivity.  It just probably will not continue to have the same “everyone in the office from 9 to 5 Monday – Friday” role that has become a rote habit for most of us.

Check out this chart from a poll of over 100 CFO’s from companies with greater than $50 Million in annual revenue. Approximately 75% said that going forward, staff will likely be working from home at least one day per week. Just under 10% said that staff can WFH 5 days/week.


Office space is an asset, a tool that a company can use to achieve objectives. Imagine seats in an office used the way an airline utilizes airplanes. A plane provides the highest ROI when it is in continual use and fully occupied. If the planes on that airline’s daily route are consistently only half full, they will likely not provide enough ROI, especially as compared to full flights operated by competitors. The airline needs to reduce the amount of flights flying that route, and that will reduce the number of airplanes that it needs.

So it is with office space. If the seats in the office are consistently half full, they will not provide the ROI that they had in the past, especially as compared to more efficient offices operated by competitors.

It is the CFO’s job to maximize ROI. The solution is to rethink how the company uses office space. It is a complex process, although there is a simple methodology to get it done. We’ll discuss it in our next post: Evaluating Your Future Office

In case you missed it, the previous post was: Where Do We Go From Here?


We want to hear from you: How will Work From Home change how your firm uses office space?