RICS says companies are not managing their property efficiently

New RICS work shows that each of Britain's 6.9 million office workers occupies over 14 square metres of office space (at an average annual cost to business of over £4000 per person) and how the right property arrangements can boost a company's profits and prospects.

Space per employee has risen slightly over the last three years. Static rents in the UK commercial property market are keeping a temporary lid on property costs which has led some companies to be less efficient at utilising space.

Business rates however, have increased significantly for the 100, 000, 000 square metres of office space in Great Britain - equivalent to 25,000 football pitches or 375,000 Wimbledon centre courts.

Property is the biggest business outgoing after staff, the equivalent of 13% of average office salaries - though this rises to as high as 22% in London where staff densities are less.

RICS has produced new guidance to help businesses with issues like service charges, rent reviews, tax allowances, disputes with landlords, home working, subletting and renting or buying business premises.

RICS research found UK businesses could boost profits by up to 13% annually with the right property strategy.

RICS, small business spokesman Ian McRae, said: "Property is a crucial business asset that needs attention and close management like any other. Yet it is often ignored in the boardroom and by small businesses who are always pushed for time. Good, strategic property advice can allow a business to expand at the right pace, increase profit margins and make the difference between an enterprise that flourishes and one that struggles."

Digby Jones, Director-General of CBI, said: "British businesses are throwing away billions each year in the form of wasted space and under-utilised property. But the right property advice can turn a company's business commitments from a liability into a asset. Businesses of all sectors and sizes need to understand just how beneficial the right property strategy can be."