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Building the case for workplace strategy: maximizing ROI

Kyle Chandler

Client Relations

What does workplace strategy answer?

When building a business case for workplace strategy, it is essential to consider the questions it seeks to answer. In most cases, Workplace Strategy (WPS) helps organizations understand:What does the business need to achieve its goals (whether operational, financial, organizational, etc.)?How can “flexible” workplaces be used as a tool to enhance employee satisfaction and accelerate business success?Is the current culture and leadership aligned and ready to support a new workplace vision, if necessary?

Creating a map to success

A strategic roadmap is necessary to understand and calculate the value-add of workplace strategy. The process of implementing a workplace strategy can be separated into three sections (which we call Discover, Design, and Delivery). The Discovery stage is where the case for workplace strategy is made.The Discover stage analyzes critical drivers to create data-derived and evidence-oriented deliverables to forecast the value of workplace and your potential ROI. This stage has three essential parts, from surveys to operational projects and financial forecasts.


The Discovery stage places emphasis on understanding and recording data regarding the key drivers of your business. Here, your business strategies, vision, and priorities are analyzed against the preferences and necessities of employees using insight from your team’s work history (including during the COVID-19 pandemic).


Once gathered, the data and information are compiled into concise deliverables for management and decision-makers. Again, precision is required to ensure all data and work is accurate. For presentation, these deliverables include reports on emerging findings, future work propositions, and current-state analysis. Essentially, this is where the data is gathered that defines and directs your workplace strategy implementation.


The last step of the Discover stage requires making management decisions. DESIGN+BUILD provides workplace strategy presentations in an approachable way, avoids unnecessarily lengthy presentations (i.e. “death by PowerPoint”), and simply highlights the info needed to drive informed decisions.Using findings from the previous stage, management can determine where to focus their workplace strategy to maximize the ROI. Some examples of common improvement areas are:Operational effectivenessTalent attraction and retentionCulture and communityTechnology and hybrid work adoptionUnderstanding the key drivers to your organization’s success can help provide a precise forecast of post-project delivery success.

Cost savings

The unfortunate truth is that forecasts and projections don’t promise net positive cash flow. Making a case for workplace strategy requires a holistic approach to entirely understand the potential return on your investment.

Real estate expenditure

For most businesses, renting/ owing their office space is a significant expense. However, the potential to reduce the physical space that your organization uses can provide a substantial and instantaneous ROI. Modern workplaces may reduce property costs by asking questions such as:What is your current cost per sq/ft for your office space?What workspace areas could you reduce or eliminate through an office redesign?What additional savings can you expect with a reduction in office space? (in regards to HVAC, energy, plumbing, maintenance, security, etc.)


Real estate cost savings are important, but a successfully delivered workplace strategy will continue to reduce expenditure long after construction is complete. In addition, redesigning your office into a workspace optimized for its employees can create some significant benefits.Here are just a few of the ways that a workplace strategy redesign can influence your businesses revenue:

Better ability to attract and retain top talent: 

the average cost per new hire is just over $4,000. Picking the right candidate can save your company a lot of money.

Lower attrition: 

Gallup reports that the conservatively estimated cost of replacing an individual employee can range from 0.5x to 2x the employee’s annual salary.

Less absenteeism:

also known as the “bottom-line-killer.” This article will help you calculate the actual cost of employee absence (hint: it will shock you).

Better productivity:

although intuitive, we believe this is best explained by Peter Affleck, the former head of real estate for Suncorp – a global leader in implementing modern workspaces:“Without even considering how else a smart workplace redesign could ignite revenue growth, productivity alone will significantly bulge enterprise profits. Even a minimal 3% productivity improvement will expand profits per employee by ~$4,500 in most financial services companies and significantly higher in the IT giants such as Google and Amazon. It becomes a no-brainer!”

Let DESIGN+BUILD maximize your investment

Whether you’re searching for workplace strategies to improve your physical space or embracing a build-out project, our team of workplace strategy experts has helped hundreds of local companies elevate their businesses through design, innovation, and strategy.

Not sure if we can help your business? Give us a call!

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