Assessing Your Office Space Needs Before You Rent Office Space

Close your eyes and picture your dream office space. Does it include wide open spaces, windows with a view, large, private offices with doors? What about a spacious, comfortable waiting room? According to a study done by the University of San Diego, the United States uses more office space per worker than any other country. While this varies by industry, on average the U.S. offer employees more work space per person. But the fact is, space is money. The larger the office space, the higher the cost. So a balance must be found between creating a comfortable, functioning office space and paying the price for wasted space.

But how exactly do you determine how much space is needed for your office to be a well-functioning office? While there are many theories on how office space should be allocated by industry, position, and services, there are some basic rules of thumb that you can follow to decide exactly how much space you need when you rent office space. A few things to take into consideration are:

  • Privacy – how much privacy does each worker need for their tasks? Will noise be a factor when they are on the phone? Do they share tasks or need to work in teams? Each of these factors can help dictate how much space per worker. An average for a cubicle or open workspace is only 125 sq ft per person.
  • Office equipment – what type of equipment will you have in the office? Does each worker have their own or will they be shared? What type of computer equipment will be in the spaces? Small printer or large copier? Equipment special to your industry? Determining what space your equipment your business will need to operate can help determine space needs.
  • Number of employees – not all businesses require office space per person. Some have field workers who only come to the office to report, pick up supplies, or other needs. Some only require storage space for their equipment. The space needed per employee should be based on what their office space needs are and when they need to use it.
  • Customer needs – the customer needs should be considered as well for office space. What types of customer needs does your business have? Will the customer be waiting? Will the customer be in conference with employees? Will they simply come in to pick up or drop off items? On average, a reception area should be approximately 100 sq. ft with an additional 10 sq ft of room per customer in the waiting room.
  • Storage space – storage space can be a flexible space, but large enough to fit your needs. When considering how much space is needed, take into consideration any supplies needed for the office, any equipment storage, stock, packaging or other bulk items you may need to store. An average size is 200 sq ft. but depends on the type of business.
  • Growth potential – thinking ahead to the future can save you time and money. If you plan on expanding in the near future, hiring more employees, or other types of growth, you should consider adding 10 to 20 percent to your space needs. Most leases are signed for anywhere from two to five years and office rentals from month-to-month to 1 year. The cost of outgrowing your space can be very expensive and can include breaking a lease, the cost of moving, and the downtime while you relocate. Planning ahead for growth can save you that cost.

While these suggestions are only an average, it can give you a starting point for considering how much office space you may need. You should also try out our office space calculator and office space planning checklist. Each business is unique and has individual space needs. Planning out how much you will need based on your individual business will give you a good idea when you start looking at office rental spaces. For additional information on office space planning and help finding the perfect office space to fit your needs, contact us. We are experts in finding the right space for your office rental needs.