Blog

12 June 2014

How much office space do you need?

Advice on working out how much office space you need to create a productive work environment and to avoid paying for space you don't need.

When you’re starting a business, renting business premises is likely to be one of your biggest expenses, so it’s important to make sure it’s exactly what you need. 

Most offices are rented out based on the size of the unit and any facilities they offer. Therefore, if you’re looking for a new office, or simply wanting to make better use of your existing workspace, it’s important to work out how much space you actually need.

By planning carefully, you can create a welcoming workplace, helping your staff to be as productive as possible. You could also save money by not paying for space you don’t need, or on the flip side, avoid the need to move offices because you need more space. Of course, not all circumstances can be planned for. At our business centres we try to be as flexible as possible, so you can quickly and easily move to a larger unit if you find you need more room.

Here are our tips on estimating and maximising your business space.

Estimating the office space you need

The minimum amount of space you should to allocate per person is 40 square feet (3.7 square metres), but don’t just estimate the size you need based on this. You also need to consider how much room will be taken up by furniture and equipment, floor space to get from one area of the office to another and the layout of the room. Do you need any of the following?

  • Private offices for senior staff
  • A quiet area for staff to focus
  • A meeting room
  • A separate kitchen area/kitchenette
  • Server space

Here's a handy guide to help you work out roughly how much space you may need.

Size in square feet

Number of staff

Size guide

Up to 100 square feet (9.6 square metres)

1 person

Average size bedroom

Up to 200 square feet (18.6 square metres)

1-2 people

Single garage

Up to 500 square feet (46.5 square metres)

5 people

Double garage

Up to 1,000 square feet (93 square metres)

10 people

Badminton court

Up to 1,500 square feet (139 square metres)

15 people

Half a tennis court

Up to 3,000 square feet (279 square metres)

30 people

A tennis court

Challenge the traditional

If your company has senior staff, do they really need their own private office? Consider allocating space by working out how much room each employee needs to perform their jobs well rather than their seniority. 

Just as controversial, does everyone need their own desk? Technology nowadays makes it much easier for people to work flexibly. You could enable staff to work from home, in a nearby shared office or at different hours, freeing up desk space and allowing you to have fewer workstations and therefore save money on space.

Use clever storage

While storage is essential for most businesses, bulky filing cabinets can take up a large amount of space. There are space efficient options like high-density storage walls, which can also be used as office partitions or floor to ceiling storage solutions. Partial partitions can also reduce noise in open offices, an important factor if you want everyone to be as productive as possible. 

If you need to keep documents from previous years, consider archiving. We offer storage space at many of our business centres, allowing you to have easy and convenient access to your items without having them take up valuable space in your office.  

Give your staff a say

Ask your employees how they feel their current space can be used better. Are there any areas they feel are being under-used? Your employees are the ones using the workspace on a daily basis so they may well have some great suggestions on how it can be used more efficiently.

How we can help at Bizspace

If you’re considering an office with BizSpace, we offer a range of differently sized units, with various layouts and facilities. Some have private offices and kitchenettes, but if not, you can choose to add your own; you can adapt the space to how you want it.

If you don’t think you have space for separate areas for quiet rooms or meeting rooms, see whether we offer meeting rooms at the location you’re interested in or nearby, most of which can be rented by the hour, half day or day. 

Author

Lynsie Patient

Lynsie has been a contributor to the BizSpace blog for several years, with a particular interest in productivity, work-life balance and digital hacks. Although she now mostly works on website developments, SEO and reputation management, she still has a penchant for spotting typos in other people's work. 
D2 Interactive