If you have worked in an office environment in the last decade, chances are you have witnessed the amount of square feet (SF) per employee decrease significantly. Even so, needs vary. To determine how much space your company needs, take the industry standards of space per employee explained here and customize to the function, workflow and culture of your business.
The current office standard on average is 150 SF of usable floor area per employee. Usable floor area is the amount of space a company occupies with its employees, equipment and furniture. The rentable floor area includes common areas such as a building lobby, corridor, bathrooms or space shared with other tenants.
In addition to this standard, consider the type of business: call centers and administrative support services generally have an open floor plan requiring as little as 100 SF per person. Legal, accounting, financial services firms, and government agencies requiring more private offices, conference rooms and support areas can range from 200 SF to 450 SF per employee. Creative firms in marketing, computer design, and architecture software engineering fall in the range of 100-200 SF per employee.
What about your staff? Do you have part-time employees who can share a workspace—be it cubicle or office—by scheduling them on different days or hours? Would a co-working space such as a lounge area be beneficial to your operations? Can employees work remotely? All of these answers will help determine the right amount of office space for your business. To get started, use this space calculator tool.
Also, the layout of the office is just as important as the square footage per person. An architect and interior designer can create an efficient floor plan that combines the appropriate square feet per employee with the business’ functions, workflow and culture. Keep in mind that a good space planner can help make any office space effective and efficient.
And, you should take into account space for potential growth. Determine the projected number of new hires or new equipment to be added throughout your lease term, then find a space large enough to accommodate your expansion so you don’t have to move.
One way to lessen the difficulty of finding the right space is working with an experienced commercial real estate company that offers a large selection of office types, sizes and layouts. Better still, use a company that has in-house architects and designers who can customize space in the most efficient way possible for your business.
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