5 Things to Consider When Deciding How Much Office Space You Need

If you’re starting a new business or just moving your current company to a new building, you’ll eventually need to ask yourself how much office space you need to run your day to day operations. Between desks, staff rooms, conference areas and even kitchen and storage space, there are a lot of things to consider before settling on square footage—and that’s before even taking into account your rate of growth. These 5 factors will help you figure out your calculations and ensure you find a space that meets all of your requirements now and in the future.

1) How Many People You Employ
First and foremost, you need to make sure any potential office space is large enough to accommodate your staff size. Average work areas in the private sector may be shrinking, but workplace regulations still require a standard minimum per person. Typically, however, designated work areas are much larger than the minimum requirements and though you may feel as though you’re losing space, it actually serves to increase productivity and overall morale.

2) Rate of Growth
An office may be able to accommodate your current staff, but what about the future? If you’ve met maximum capacity for office space, there’s no room to grow. While this situation may be ideal for a business that has settled into its niche, rapidly growing businesses mean changes to come—more clients, larger projects and increased staff size. Analysing your company’s rate of growth will help determine how many more employees you’ll need to take on in the near future and you can adjust your office space accordingly.

3) The Type of Work You Do
Not every business requires the same type of office space and each one is laid out differently. Some will need a lot of individual desks for computers and laptops, while other businesses might turn their focus to conference room size for better meeting space and brainstorming sessions. Open concepts work best in industries that require input from everyone, while separate offices lend themselves to individual tasks. It’s also important to note how much space your business needs for miscellaneous space, like kitchen areas and storage.

4) Does Everyone Need a Desk?
Depending on how you run your office, a desk for every individual employee may not be necessary. Desks take up half of the space in an office, so assigning one to everyone will result in a lot of unused space each day, especially if your business requires employees to be in and out of the office periodically each week. If your employees are often on the road, out of the office or working from home, you can get away with operating a smaller physical space. That doesn’t mean small work, though—you can still do big business and benefit from the low overhead costs.

5) Budget
In many cases, office space is decided by how much you can afford to spend each month when renting or leasing. You may have grand plans for your office but your budget says otherwise. If you need larger spaces, you can circumvent some of the high-cost features by choosing to lease space in an older building or one that isn’t located in a high-traffic area. These concessions result in lower operating costs while still providing the essentials for your business.

By taking these factors into consideration when approximating office space, you can get a better idea of what you actually require to run your business. People often overestimate this and end up paying a premium for more space than they need or trying to fit their office into a layout that doesn’t compliment their business style, so planning ahead is key to creating an environment that positively affects your work.

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