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How to Determine the Amount of Office Space You Need

By wizu | 10 June 2020

If you’re looking at taking your business to the next level by letting an office, do you know how much space you really need? Do you know how to determine the space you need?

These are highly important considerations, which require a firm answer before you sign the lease. If you have too much space, it could cost your business money it can’t afford. Or if the space isn’t large enough, you and your employees could feel crowded and cramped, which cuts down on productivity.

Finding the middle ground can be difficult but having the right amount of space for your business is crucial. There’s a lot that goes into making this decision.

1). Office Size Guide: Square Footage Needed Per Person

The first step to choosing the right size office for your company is to determine how much square footage you’ll need. The law says that you must allow for 40 square feet per person; however, this is the legal minimum you’re required to provide. While this may sound like plenty of space, the reality is that everyone will feel cramped and crowded.

The law also states:

  • Workplace size must allow employees to work without posing a danger to their health & safety
  • All employees must have enough space to move around
  • If work activities don’t allow for the second point, then there must be other rooms nearby that have enough room to allow employees to easily move around

Depending on the type of layout your business needs, a better way to calculate the space needed per person is to allow for 70-80 square feet for each person. You can even go up to 100-150 square feet if you’d like a little more allowance for additional space.

When you’re calculating the space your company needs, be sure to take into account the type of work you do. For instance, will you need space for meetings, training and conferences? Also consider how your employees work. For instance, do they mostly stay at a desk and work in front of a computer? Or will you create flexible work areas, so employees can get away from their desks during the work day?

2). Square Footage Per Room for Additional Spaces

Now you’re ready to consider the other types of spaces you’ll need, in addition to workstations. This may include meeting rooms, kitchen spaces and more. Here’s a rough guide on recommended space allowance for:

  • Meeting room: to accommodate 4-8 people, consider 150 square feet
  • Conference room: 300 square feet is the recommended amount of space.
  • Kitchen space: about 100-300 square feet offers plenty of room for more than one person in the space at the same time.
  • Private offices: from 150-300 square feet is usually allotted for private offices.

3). Making Sure There’s Room to Expand

Next, you’ll need to make sure your business has room to grow. For instance, you’ll need additional space for new employees, larger offices and more.

If you expect rapid growth over a short period, then it’s best to look at larger office spaces. However, if your business is expected to grow at a slower rate, then you’ll need to calculate how many employees will be added each year (don’t forget to account for those who may leave).

4). Account for Common Spaces

When you’re calculating space needed for your business, remember to include common spaces. These include work group areas, the reception area and more. And remember to include space for storage, files and more.

Here are some guidelines for the amount space needed for common areas:

  • Work group areas: 80 to 100 square feet per person.
  • Quiet rooms: 25 to 50 square feet
  • Reception: 75 square feet per person
  • Storage room: 200 square feet
  • File room: 200 square feet
  • Restroom: 30 square feet per seat

5). Include Space for Visitors

Do you have many visitors or expect many guests for your business? Then you’ll need to also include them in your office space calculations.

For instance, you may need extra workstations or seating options for visitors. Keep in mind that visitors can include clients and partners, so you may need to include them when calculating space for meeting rooms and common areas.

Other Considerations

When it comes to choosing the right size office space, there are some additional considerations to keep in mind. For instance, what about the shape of the office space? Will it conform to your needs, even if the square footage is appropriate? Some offices may come with a floor plan that’s oddly shaped, meaning that some space may not be usable.

In addition, you’ll want to ensure the location is the right one for your business. Is it located in an area with local amenities, such as restaurants, shopping and more? Are there accommodations nearby for visitors, such as hotels? And is the office located in a central area that’s easy to reach, with easy access to transport links? These are all important considerations when choosing the right office space for your company.

You’ll also want to consider the type of infrastructure that’s included in the lease. For instance, does rent include utilities, access to a network and Internet? Are these extra costs you’ll need to cover?

Next, always stay within your budget—never go over your budget when it comes to renting office space. The goal is to have the right amount of space, but at a cost your current budget can afford.

This entire exercise may seem overwhelming; however, finding the right size office space is crucial to the success of your business. The office space needs to fit your company culture, provide enough room for employees to be comfortable, and offer space for guests and room to expand with the growth of the business.

Going through each step of the process will help you find the best space for your company. You’ll have the right amount of space, without having to pay for space you can’t use. There will be room for collaboration and more all within this one new office space. How exciting it will be to find an office space with just the right amount of space your business needs now and in the future!

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