Determining the right amount of office space to fit your current and growing needs is part science and part art. By following some useful guidelines to estimating and utilizing your office space, you can have a good idea of what will work best for your company's needs.
1. Know What Your Current Needs Are.
Talk to department heads to learn about what they use their current space for, what they'd like to have, and what projects are in the future for them that might require additional floor space. Ask each influencer:
- What works well with the current floor plan?
- What would you do to minimize your space usage if you had to?
- What would you do with an additional 1000 (or whatever makes sense) square feet?
Remember that if you're planning a move to a newer and more modern building that some efficiencies will save you space. For example, bathrooms may be smaller in square footage but offer more luxury and amenities. Conference rooms can be smaller because screens and equipment are built into the walls. Factor this in to your considerations.
2. Calculate the Square Feet Needed Per Person.
Office space requirement per worker have shrunk in the past decade as offices get more efficient. The average space purchased or leased has decreased by 8 percent in that time.
One rule of thumb is to calculate 250 square feet per person to have a sufficient amount of space, considering a standard 8x8 cubicle and the necessary hallway, conference room and break room area. Looking to keep costs down? Go down to as little as 125 to 150 square feet per person.
You can also use an online office space requirement calculator to estimate your needed square footage.
3. Look at Your Office Furniture.
A lot of your needed furniture will fit into the cubicle or office space you've allotted per person. But there are still furnishings like file cabinets, conference tables and printer stands that will take up valuable space.
Ask your potential landlord for a floorplan of the space you are considering. The office furniture dealer you work with or plan to work with can take the floor plan and help you calculate the space required for all your equipment and furnishings. Some dealers have more advanced software to help you create your ideal layout.
Remember that some square footage in the spaces you are considering may not be usable. Lobbies, stairwells and hallways in shared buildings should not factor into your space. Make sure you understand exactly what is part of your overall office space size. To truly make sure you have the best space for your needs, work with a commercial real estate professional to avoid issues.
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