Helpful Guides

Determining Office Space Requirements in the UK

By wizu | 23 December 2022

Updated 31/08/2023

Before opening an office in the US, it’s essential to know the rules for determining office space requirements for the UK.

We’ve put together some of the office space requirements businesses are subject to in the UK. Let’s get started!

Office Space Requirements in the UK

Here are the office space requirements you’ll need to know in the UK:

  • Offices need to allow a bare minimum of 11 cubic metres per employee
  • With average ceiling height, you’ll need 4.6 square metres of floor space per employee
  • Furniture & clutter will mean it’s necessary to have more office space
  • Business owners need to factor in additional space for meeting rooms, reception areas, storage space, and breakout areas
  • The average range of office space for businesses in the UK ranges from 14 to 28 sq m per person
  • Business growth outlooks, hybrid scheduling, and office layouts will affect space requirements


Finding the Right Office Space Can Be Challenging

In many parts of the UK, there’s a tight supply of commercial spaces, and new offices are pretty scarce. This is especially noticeable for office space. As a result, quality space is in high demand and usually comes with a high rental rate.

With price and availability constraints, it’s imperative to have an accurate idea of how much office space you need before searching for the right space. That way, you’ll save time and money, and you won’t end up paying for unused space.

When deciding on the right office space for your company:

  • High-density, population centres like London have a tight supply of offices available with high rents
  • You’ll also need to know how much space you need before signing a contract
  • Knowing the exact space requirement ensures you don’t end up paying for unused space and more.


What are the UK Office Space Guidelines

Some of these regulations come from a health & safety perspective that requires the minimum space for each employee in the office space. According to Regulation 10 of the Workplace Regulations of 1992, offices should have a minimum of 11 cubic metres of space per employee. With a normal ceiling height, that means each employee needs a minimum of 4.6 sq m.


Office Size Calculations Must Take Into Account Other Factors

In addition, it’s essential to understand that office size calculations must take other factors into account. These figures (listed above) are the least amount of space, and the total amount of space required needs to be increased depending on how much room is taken up with furniture and unusual office layouts.

It’s best to avoid having cluttered spaces and ensure there’s plenty of room for employees to move around within their workstations and in the rest of the office.


Other Areas to Factor In

The minimums given for workspaces to this point can be used for an initial calculation of the workspace needed for your business. However, it’s also necessary to consider other areas and add these to your space considerations.

Other areas to factor in include:

  • Reception area
  • Waiting rooms
  • Common areas (kitchens, breakrooms)
  • Storage rooms
  • Meeting rooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Space needed to accommodate employees with disabilities


Is There a Way to Get Around All of These Considerations for Office Space Requirements?

Yes, there is a way to get around these considerations for office space requirements. The solution is to go with a serviced office. With a serviced office, you have an office management provider that does all the calculations for you, ensuring all space requirements are met for your business.


What is a Serviced Office?

A serviced office is an office space that you lease as a package that includes space and services. Your business has exclusive use of the private office and access to amenities that your business needs to operate smoothly and efficiently.

These spaces come fitted out with furniture, access to an in-house network, and a space that’s customised to fit your business. Moving in is fast and easy. Everything your business needs is already set up. All you have to do is bring your computer and other devices, plug in and get to work.


What Amenities Are Included with a Serviced Office?

All amenities are usually included in a monthly fee that includes access to all amenities, including:

  • Internet services (wired & wireless connections)
  • Rent & utilities
  • Telephony services
  • Furniture
  • Climate control
  • On-site gym
  • Showers
  • Fully stocked kitchens
  • Reception services
  • 24/7 access
  • And more

What are the Benefits of a Service Office?

One of the most amazing benefits is an office space that fits your company. Once you’ve found a service office provider that seems like a good fit, it’s essential to ask them to calculate the office size requirement you need. They can help you determine the amount of space necessary and then provide you with a serviced office that fits your business needs.

These workspaces come with many other benefits, including:

Cost-effective solution: the office comes fully equipped and furnished with everything your company needs. They’re also scalable for your company, so you won’t have to pay for office space you’re not using.

Short-term leases: serviced offices also come with short-term, flexible leases that allow you to rent the office space only for as long as you need to. Your company doesn’t have to be trapped in a long-term lease for a traditional office that doesn’t fit your needs.

Amenities: are useful for your company and mean you won’t have to invest in the services your business relies on, including fully stocked kitchens, staffed reception services, office furniture, and more. You also have discounted access to meeting rooms. Just book the space, and that’s it!


Easy to Move in & Out

Moving in and out is also pretty easy and fast. There’s no need to wait; on move in day, your serviced office is already set up and ready to go. Just plug in and get to work. Plus, there’s no need to invest in buying new furniture, and there’s no need to use your old furniture. And you won’t have to move bulky items, which takes time and money.

Maintenance: the expense of maintenance can become pretty costly in a traditional office space. Maintenance includes building repairs, upkeep, cleaning, and more. With a serviced office, these costs are all included in your monthly fee.


Summing It Up

There’s a lot to consider when choosing an office of the right size for your business. So, why not consider leasing a service office that comes with all the benefits you can imagine? You’ll end up with an office that conforms to UK regulations in regard to space requirements. And you’ll have a beautiful workspace for you and your employees. What could be better?


Can I Determine Office Space Requirements Without Professional Help?

Absolutely, but seeking professional advice ensures a more accurate and efficient process.

What’s the Ideal Location for an Office Space in the UK?

The ideal location depends on your business needs. Generally, a central and accessible area is preferred.

How Do I Calculate the Amount of Space Needed per Employee?

A common rule is 100-150 square feet per employee, but this can vary based on the nature of your business.

What’s the Role of Sustainability in Office Space Design?

Sustainability not only benefits the environment but also enhances employee satisfaction and your company’s image.

Should I Prioritise an Open Workspace or Private Offices?

Balance is key. Consider both collaborative open spaces and private offices based on your team’s tasks.

How Can I Ensure Flexibility in Office Design?

Opt for modular furniture and layouts that can be easily adapted to changing needs.

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