How to calculate how much office space you need

When you’re moving offices, you need to think about how much office space per person you will need to provide. The minimum requirement laid down by the Workplace, (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations is 11 cubic metres, which is a floor area of 2 x 2.3m in rooms where the ceiling is 2.4m high.

However, this will be affected by other factors such as how much furniture and equipment is in the room, as well as the layout of the room and the nature of the work taking place. So when you’re planning an office move, here are our top tips on what you need to consider when it comes to office space.

Factors to consider

Budget is obviously going to have a huge impact on the amount of office space each of your employees will get. If you run a high-end business and are frequently visited by clients, the more spacious the office, the better the impression you’ll create. However, having such large amounts of space is a luxury not afforded to the majority of SMEs, so more careful planning needs to be done.

The first thing to think about is how many employees will need to work in the office at any one time. It could be there are enough staff members who are away from the office on a regular basis or who prefer to work remotely that you can reduce the number of desks needed, providing hot-desking for staff working flexibly, and this will, in turn, reduce the overall amount of office space your company needs.

Office layout is also an important consideration when it comes to space, especially when making the decision about how many private offices you want, and how many staff will need to work in an open plan area. Private offices are going to take up much more space, as you will also have to ensure each one is not only large enough to house the furniture and equipment, but also to have enough space for staff to move around unhindered.

You will need less space per person if your office is completely open plan, but by necessity, you’ll also need additional conference rooms for meetings and confidential chats. Staff welfare is hugely important, and they will benefit from being able to use a breakout area where they can relax, make a drink, eat their lunch, take breaks or have informal meetings. Encouraging people to take breaks is beneficial to your bottom line because it actually improves their overall productivity, as well as boosting their creativity and focus.

Thinking about the future

Your company’s growth plans are a major factor in the amount of office space you need to be looking at now. By factoring in how many extra staff members you will need to take on in the future and when you anticipate you will need them, you can work out how much extra space you need now. If you are renting whole office space, this means you will begin to pay now for what you need in the future, but it will at least prevent you from having another expensive office move in the near future. That is one of the reasons why serviced offices and co-working spaces are so popular because they allow you to expand and contract staff numbers speedily, meaning your business only pays for desks and offices that are in active use. In addition, break out areas are shared with everyone in the building, so your company does not end up paying for them, and what’s more, there will always be enough meeting rooms to go around.