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Office costs in Europe increased by 3%, in the Netherlands by 7%

The average office costs in Europe for a full-time equivalent (FTE) per year have increased by 3% in the past year and amounted to 9,572 euros. In the Netherlands, costs rose by 7% to 9,086 euros per FTE, according to the Occupier Cost Index 2018. This index is composed of data from 28 countries, 3,900 buildings, more than 25.2 million square meters of office space and 1.85 million FTEs.
In the Netherlands, total costs rose mainly due to a 9% increase for space & infrastructure. This category accounts for more than half of the total office costs and amounted to 4,837 euros. This increase can be attributed to higher costs for parking, cleaning and workplace environment. Other working methods such as agile working and a diversity of workplace concepts contribute to a more expensive workplace environment.

Eastern Europe remains the cheapest
In Bulgaria, rents fell even further compared to last year. As a result, the costs for space and infrastructure decreased by 13%. Costs did rise in the other categories, bringing the total decrease to 7%. The office costs per FTE are the lowest in Europe at 2,490 euros.

Despite the cost increase of 6% in Slovakia and 10% in Hungary, these countries remain the cheapest in Europe after Bulgaria. The biggest decrease in office costs was seen in Turkey, where costs fell by 13%. Especially the weaker Lira and the fall in rents contributed to this decline. The total costs per FTE decreased to 5,309 euros.

Nordics and Switzerland at the top
Sweden and Norway remain the most expensive countries in Europe, paying respectively 18,196 euros and 18,113 euros in office costs to keep one FTE at work. Despite a 12% fall in costs in Switzerland, this country remains the second most expensive country in Europe. Denmark is also up on the list with an 8% increase, mainly due to rising rents.

The Occupier Cost Index is published every year by Colliers International. All costs have been compared on the basis of the European facility standard EN 15221. The standard has four categories: Space & Infrastructure, Personnel & Organization, ICT and Management.

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Denise Hoogendoorn

Head of Facility Management Consultancy


I am Head of the Facility Management Consultancy Department and working for clients in the Netherlands and EMEA. I advice clients on a range of Facility Management and Real Estate topics,  including benchmarking, setting up facility services, outsourcing, strategic FM, customer satisfaction,  sustainability and circularity. 

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