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Office costs in Europe increased by 2%, in the Netherlands by 3%

The average costs in Europe for companies to let a full-time equivalent (FTE) work for a year in the office have increased by 2% to 9,763 euros. In the Netherlands, costs rose by 3% to 9,360 euros per FTE, which is just below the European average. These insights come from the Occupier Cost Index 2019 which is compiled from data from 29 countries, 4,000 buildings, more than 25.9 million square meters of office space and 1.92 million FTEs.


In the Netherlands, total costs rose mainly due to a 5% increase in the building & infrastructure category. These expenses are responsible for more than half of the office costs and amounted to 5,079 euros. Not only higher rents, also the costs of parking and workplace layout attributed to an increased cost level. On the other hand, cleaning costs decreased a bit.


Bulgaria cheapest location in Europe
Despite an inflation of 5% and 10% higher labor costs, Bulgaria remains by far the cheapest country in Europe to let a FTE work. Bulgaria has the lowest rents and labor costs of all countries, resulting in total costs of just 2,608 euros. Slovakia is second on the list of most economical countries. Here, companies spend nearly 4,100 euros on office costs. Croatia completes the top three. Mainly due to falling housing costs, total expenses decreased by 4%, the largest contraction in Europe.


Switzerland most expensive place in Europe
Switzerland became the most expensive country in Europe. Last year, costs decreased by 12% due to lower accommodation costs, but this year they rose again by 1%. As a result, expenses for companies increased to 18,336 euros per FTE, seven times as much as in Bulgaria.The other two countries from the now traditional top three most expensive countries are Norway and Sweden. Here companies had to pay 18,143 euros and 17,857 euros per FTE respectively. The costs in Norway remained stable and in Sweden they decreased slightly by 2%.


In the Occupier Cost Index all costs are compared on the basis of the European facility standard EN 15221. This standard has four categories: building & infrastructure, people & organization, IT 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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