How Much Office Space Do I Need?

 

buildingsEstablishing a business is not a joke. There’s a lot of work involved and you have to take care of a million things at a time. One of those things is finding the perfect office space.

 

You have to consider several factors before settling on a particular office. Some of these include the location of the building, its accessibility, the cost, the amenities, your target market and of course the actual area size of the workspace.

 

Ask yourself, ‘how much space do I need?’ The size of the space will give you a rough idea about how much money you need for the monthly rent.  You’ll also get an idea about how many employees you can seat in the area.  

 

The area of the space will affect how you’re going to design, partition or decorate it. It will also allow you to budget for the customisation work.

 

These considerations are especially important for startups because they need to spend their money wisely and keep their operational costs low.

 

The following questions will help you in determining your ideal office space.

 

1.) How many people am I going to Hire?

 

This includes the current number of people you have on your team and the number of people you intend to hire in the one or two or three year period of your office lease.

 

The number of people you intend to employ plays a huge factor in deciding your ideal office space. This is because, in order to work efficiently, each employee needs a particular amount of space. So if you hire more people, you’ll need more space.

 

Aside from your employees, you also need to consider your office equipment. Do you need big, bulky equipment such as drawers, filing cabinets or high-end servers? If so then be sure to include these things in your estimate as well.

 

2.) What should be the Duration of my Lease?

 

SigningNaturally in the beginning your company will be small because it’s a new business. It’ll take time to grow into a leading brand in your niche.

 

That’s why you have to decide if your new office will be a transitional space or a permanent work area? Depending on the nature of your start up, a one or two year lease should be more than enough for a transitional area.

 

3.) Do I have the Budget to Rent the Office?

 

Larger private offices have a higher rent which usually doesn’t include the utility bills and other fees. Make sure that your business can generate enough funds to cover these expenses before you finalise the space.

 

You can also opt for a Serviced Office which allows you to pay a fixed monthly rate for the space itself, the utilities and the upkeep of the facility.  

 

Let’s take a look at some of the average work areas in different countries across the world.

 

The United States of America

 

Employees from the United States are more accustomed to private work areas or semi-private work areas which should be separated by cubicles or walls. The average work space for a technical or professional employee is 90 to 95 sq. ft. while upper management employees usually need 280 to 290 sq. ft. of work area on the average.

 

Europe

 

Open spaceIn general, Europeans are more used to shared office spaces or team spaces but private offices are also used by employees with higher designations.

 

Despite being okay with team spaces, most Europe-based employees have a larger work space requirement. In the UK for example, professional-level employees need an average area of 97 sq. ft. while upper management employees require an average of 215 sq. ft. and higher.

 

Among various European countries, the UK has the lowest requirement when it comes to work space for middle management employees. Central London has an average of 181 sq. ft. for each employee while Amsterdam and Berlin both stand at 258 sq. ft. Frankfurt in Germany remains the highest at a requirement of 274 sq. ft.

 

Australia & New Zealand

 

Like Europe, both Australia and New Zealand are accustomed to shared team spaces with private office spaces for higher management.

 

Australia’s building code requires at least 10 sq. m. (107 sq. ft.) for each person – but that is only for the call center industry. The average requirement for employees in other industries does not exceed 15 sq. m. (161 sq. ft.) per person.

 

New Zealand however has a higher standard starting at 15 to 17 sq. m. (161 to 183 sq. ft.) for the average professional-level employee.

 

Asia

 

The average work space in Asia differs depending on the region. Countries in North Asia such as South Korea and Japan are similar to the U.S. with Tokyo at 89 sq. ft. and Seoul with 92 sq. ft. per person.

 

China however requires a smaller average work space with 72 to 74 sq. ft. per employee in Mainland China and 79 sq. ft. in Hong Kong. India has an even smaller requirement, with only 45 sq. ft. per employee in its capital city, Mumbai and 42 sq. ft. in cities liek Bangalore and Delhi.

 

In South-East Asia the minimum requirement varies widely. Singapore has the highest requirement with 82 sq. ft. per employee while Kuala Lumpur (in Malaysia)  requires 78 sq. ft. Thailand and the Philippines both only require a minimum of 51 sq. ft. per employee.

 

The below given table gives us a comparison of standard office space requirement per employee in major cities for each area (subdivided into the requirements for professional employees and higher management):

 

Standard Office Space

US

Europe (UK)

Asia (Singapore)

Pacific (Australia)

Average Employee (Professional/Technical Employee)

92 sq. ft.

97 sq. ft.

82 sq. ft.

107 sq. ft.

Higher Management

280 sq. ft.

215 sq. ft. (minimum)

162 sq. ft. (minimum)

179 sq. ft.

 

So the space you need will vary according to your location and will also differ according to your business niche. For example, larger spaces are well suited for companies in the creative industries while small spaces can be easily used to house call centres.

 

Finding the perfect work space isn’t hard and it doesn’t matter where you are in the world. You can easily do a quick search on findmyworkspace.com and even get a free quote.

 

Search for an office now!