The amount of available office space is always a key worry, regardless of whether you are relocating your office or updating your workspace.
The ideal workplace setting supports and accommodates your future expansion while also increasing employee productivity and overall job happiness.
Don’t know where to begin?
Here is a blog that will assist you in creating a working space plan.
Challenges in evaluating office space per person
Determining the necessary quantity of office space per employee is a little simpler if your organisation has a workplace structure where most employees spend the most of their time in dedicated workstation cubicles.
The footprint of the cubicle spaces gives you a good idea of how much room each person is occupying in that situation.
In some contemporary workplaces, employees hardly ever sit at desks, preferring to use the seats and sofas that are offered throughout the workplace.
It can be particularly difficult to determine how much office space is being used per employee in a setup this unusual.
Determine the amount of space you need for each employee
You must picture your future office space in order to determine how much space you’ll need per employee. Imagine it in your head. Consider the following inquiries:
Do you want to cram as many employees as you can into the area, or do you want to make the most of the space that each employee has?
- How many employees will work part-time at the office? Permanently?
- How many workers will you have working remotely?
- Do you picture having a lot of individual offices or open spaces with workers seated at workstations or in cubes?
- Is it feasible to share a desk or does each employee need their own?
- What kind of space is required for each function to operate effectively?
Now that you have a mental image in mind, let’s translate it into some numerical values.
Let’s evaluate what closely resembles the picture you have in your mind.
What size should an office be for a particular space, like a boardroom, kitchen, or meeting room?
While keeping in mind the recommended 100 square feet per employee, you also need to make room for particular amenities, such as meeting spaces, kitchens, etc.
A rough estimate of the amount of space required for these additional facilities is provided below:
- 2-4 person small meeting room with 100 square feet
- 150 square foot large meeting room, seating 4 to 8 individuals
- Board room (15–20 people): 400 square feet
- 20–30 person training/conference room with 500 square feet
- Kitchenette: 100 square feet
- One server rack in a small, 70 square foot server room
- Large server room, 200 square feet, 4 server racks
- Manager’s office: 100 square feet
- Office for a senior manager of 200 square feet, with a small meeting table
- Director’s office: 260 square feet, with a four-person conference table
Factors to Keep in Consideration
The design of the room is vital to take into mind because some square metres account for awkwardly shaped corners and unused floorspace, thus the actual amount of useable square footage may be significantly less than stated.
The same logic holds true for ceiling height; if a desk cannot fit comfortably under it because of the low ceiling, the space is unfit for its intended use.
When estimating office area per person, any space occupied by furniture or fixed storage should also be considered.
To prevent any employees from having to work in cramped spaces with headroom or darker corners, you should aim for an evenly shaped workplace with a generally balanced distribution of natural light throughout the day.
Find out the price per square foot from your real estate agent or service provider. This could assist you in identifying your top priorities and ensuring that the location where you want to restart your firm is also financially viable.
Remember that you will be acquiring the office space or signing a lease that will tie you to it for at least two to five years. Therefore, to account for potential growth, increase the total square footage you calculated by 10% to 20%.
Keep in mind that having this extra space in reserve ready to be used will more than cover the higher cost of ending a lease early and the cost of transferring an office after only a short length of time.
A smaller office area might be adequate if the majority of the workday is spent on field assignments, meetings, site visits, and consultations.
A small space, however, may cause discomfort due to feelings of entrapment for office workers who do their duties at their workstation the majority of the time.
More work space may be allotted for certain job functions, such as those that frequently involve meetings in the workplace, call for the use of multiple sources of information for consultation, research, writing, etc., or demand the use of multiple pieces of equipment (like multiple computer monitors).
The Long Run
You don’t want to move to a new office frequently, so it’s crucial to plan ahead and make sure your new workplace will fulfil your demands both now and in the future.
Do you intend to increase your staff the following year? Will you enter a new market or vertical that calls for a specific area for specialised tools?
Are you looking for a location to store the large inventory purchase you will make next year?
It’s advisable to rent spaces so that your occupancy restriction is reached two-thirds or three-quarters of the way through the length of your contract.
Growth planning will enable your company to move without incurring any costly setbacks. This might not be necessary, though, if you want to use more flexible working arrangements.
Many businesses must consider “low cost” office space; however, this should not come at the expense of employee happiness and output.
Be sensible about the space you have available when developing your new office and avoid designing a floor plate that is too densely packed.
We discover that a suitable working environment may be created with an average of 80 to 100 square feet per person.
Make sure the workstations you choose for your workers are appropriate for the people who will be utilising them and the tasks they will be performing.
People should be able to escape the desk area quickly and safely in an emergency if there is enough room around it and an efficient wire management system.