towergate infographic

This is an infographic about the costs of running an office in the UK.  Visually, it’s very attractive.  For some reason, I really enjoy the use of the color blue in an infographic.  Someone told me once that blue was the most pleasing color for websites and for paint colors.  I don’t know if there is any correlation between the two, except that you can spend a long time on website, and a long time in a room.  But I digress…

Desk Space

This section addresses the average cost of desk space – having someone occupy a workstation each year.  The highest is in London’s West End, followed by the city of London, then Birmingham, Manchester, and finally Cardiff.  The variance between the highest cost per workspace and the lowest is about ten thousand pounds.

Power and Surfing the Internet

The average office worker uses 6,886.7 kwH each year, costing almost seven hundred pounds, annually.  Additionally, they estimate that 4.4% of work hours are dedicated to surfing the web for non-work-related reasons, like social networking sites, and that it results in an annual loss of over nine hundred pounds per employee.  I bet the numbers in the US are MUCH higher.  *checks Twitter feed*

Office Supplies

This section is labeled “office supplies” but they only talk about the essential essential – toilet paper.  They estimate that every employee uses the equivalent of almost seventeen pounds (money, not weight) of toilet paper each year.  I don’t know what toilet paper costs in the UK, but here in the US you’re looking at about eight dollars for a 12-pack of “double rolls” which is supposed to be the equivalent of two rolls but isn’t really because it’s extra fluffy, so that’s about seventy cents per roll, and if you convert the 16.98 British Pounds to dollars, it’s $27.70, which means that if the consumption of toilet paper is similar from country to country, people use about 41.5 rolls of toilet paper per year.  I think I might have digressed again, and this time with bad math.  Either way, that’s a lot of TP.


Back to power, which earlier was broken down by employee cost, now it’s broken down by cost per employee, per year, by region.  Did you know that leaving a monitor powered on overnight uses the same amount of power it would take to print 800 pages?

Tea Breaks

Four hundred pounds = 24 minutes per employee per day.  Wowsa.

Sick Days

Sick days only cost two hundred pounds per year per employee more than tea breaks.

Smoking Breaks

Broken down by region, smoking breaks cost a lot more than tea breaks, sick days, and toilet paper.


Four hundred sixty two pounds per year are claimed for business expenses – mostly for travel and accommodation.


A necessary evil, the median income of employees by region, per week is outlined in this section.

Design:  a solid A –

It’s blue (I like that) and it is attractively laid out and easy to understand.

Information:  A

The information is good and valuable to a UK business owner.

Source:  Small business insurance and office insurance from Towergate