Your first consideration should be size when you start looking for a new office space. After finding out how much space you will require, you can focus on other factors such as layout, aesthetics, furniture and amenities. Ultimately, the size of your office is the one thing that will incur a significant expense if you decide to change it. Fitting out new space to accommodate new people or moving offices before your lease expires can be costly.
If you lease insufficient space, you’ll find it challenging to fit your growing business and possibly hinder your growth. If you lease too much space, you’ll find yourself burdened with unnecessary costs.
So, how much office space do you really need? A complex but valid question every business asks when they begin to think about relocating.
There are various rules and formulas that can help, but first, you need to determine which ones will specifically help you:
Understanding Square Footage….
This metic is usually the first feature real estate agents will mention when they show you a new space. UK standards suggest an average of 5 square metres as the minimum space required per person.
This general guideline will vary based on your style of business and working requirements, so your square footage needs will likely increase if your workforce requires more dedicated meeting spaces, breakout areas or an events space to thrive in their day-to-day tasks.
Depending on the type of lease, these decisions are in place for a minimum of 2 years, so it’s crucial to think through all the possibilities.
The modern open-plan office space usually allows 100 square ft per person, broken into 50 square feet for desk space and amenities. However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much space your team will need since most companies have to factor other facilities into their office design. When choosing your square footage, remember that the right office space strikes the perfect balance between cost efficiency and employee satisfaction.
Company growth is another factor to consider. This will help you estimate how much space you need currently and in the future, based on the anticipated growth of your business. Think about how many people you employ, how many workstations each employee needs, which areas will be a shared working space, your lease length, and the necessity for ancillary space. This is working space beyond desks and cubicles, so phone booths, breakout areas, lounge, refrigerated space etc.
Your company culture will also have an impact on your physical office space, in terms of what working style your business values. For example, your company might value long periods of uninterrupted work so workspaces that allow focus will work best and perhaps cost more square footage per person.
Additionally, the workplace is constantly changing, as 30% of the UK workforce is working remotely at least once a week. This means that businesses might not need as much space as they did pre-pandemic.
Layout and design…
Here are some 'common space' guidelines for required square footage:
Your common space will vary depending on your type of business.
To help you decide how much space you require, start by thinking about the type of layout that would best suit your business. An open office will allow everyone to sit and work together at community tables or combined workstations. Private spaces and conference rooms are the more traditional route mostly taken by law / financial forms due to the confidential working style they require. Others may enjoy a combination of both, meaning they have some privacy but also cater for collaboration amongst teams with varied needs.
These variables are ambiguous and difficult to plan, particularly if you don’t have experience in office design. Our in-house design and build team at Dthree Studio can help you get the right solutions for a functional, inspirational and authentic workspace for your business.
If you would like more help assessing how much office space you need, then get in touch with one of our property consultants who will be able to talk through your requirements and find the perfect fit for your business and people.