How Much Office Space Does My Business Need?

Written on Monday, 05 June 2017

Looking for the perfect office for your growing business? How do you judge how much space you’ll need?

You’ll need to plan your move carefully, as too small or too big a space could provide you with a major headache. There are a few questions you can ask yourself before you make a decision:

  • How many people do I employ?
  • What does the nature of my business – office or onsite – dictate that I need?
  • Does each employee need an individual desk?
  • Do I expect my team to grow over the next couple of months/years?
  • What kind of staff will I be adding to my team in the future?
  • Will the business have many visitors?

The most commonly accepted rule for office space is 100 sq. ft. per employee. This means that actual desk space will measure about 50 sq. ft. and the other 50 sq. ft. will allow for the kitchen, meeting rooms and other communal areas.

However, for a smaller office space and a tighter budget, a lot of companies opt for around 70-80 sq. ft. per person. This is doable for many small businesses if they’re willing to compromise on storage space by adopting space-saving solutions such as replacing individual desks with bench desks.

On the flip side of that, depending on the nature of your business, you might need more than 100 sq. ft. per person. For example, if you need a meeting room to fit between four and eight people in it, then you can expect that ratio to increase slightly to 150 sq. ft. per person. You might want to double up on the 100 sq. ft. rule if you’re planning for people to work in cubicles or isolated work stations, too. It’s worth bearing in mind that the 100 sq. ft. rule only really works when you’re expecting everyone to sit next to each other, in relatively close proximity.

As well as floor space, there are other things to consider when you’re choosing a suitable office space. Not all offices are always square – you might find a lot of office space has awkward floor plans, little natural light or unusually low ceilings. These are all important things to consider, as a bad work space could negatively impact team morale.


The way we work is changing office space 

Nowadays, there’s a lot of demand for creative office spaces. Gone are the days where it’s considered best for people to work in isolated cubicles. The majority of businesses are now encouraging chatter and interaction between employees, believing that it presents more opportunity for innovation.

This could go either way – either you may need for less space per person (no need for lots of physical storage or huge CRT monitors), or more space each – for example, a large communal area for employees to relax or get creative in.

Other things to consider are…

  • What are the pros and cons of open plan office space?
  • Will you have room to grow in your new office space?
For a full checklist of things to think about before you settle on a new space for your business, download our Office Move Checklist!


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