How Much Office Space Do You Need?

A Guide to Help You Decide

Businessman sitting at desk in cubicle in large empty room, high angle view, rear view
Credit: ColorBlind/ The Image Bank/ Getty Images

Calculating how much office space your business needs is not an exact science. Your real estate agent will ask you what your requirements are in terms of how many square feet you will need. This will give him/her a relative measurement of which properties are in the ball-park and which ones are not. In addition to square footage, the number of permanent office and rooms required will also aid in an efficient office search.

The estimates provided below are average space requirements for each area listed. These estimates can be individually adjusted upward to provide a more spacious layout or can be adjusted downward to provide a more efficient use of office space.

How Can You Figure Out Your Office Space Needs?

Here is a list of items, considerations and a link to a useful tool to help you calculate how much office space you need.

Employees Requiring Offices

  • President (400 sq. ft.)
  • Vice Presidents (200 sq. ft.)
  • Managers (150 sq. ft.)

Employees Requiring Cubicles

  • Secretaries (125 sq. ft.)
  • Customer Service Reps (125 sq. ft.)
  • Accountants (150 sq. ft.)
  • Programmers (125 sq. ft.)
  • Engineers (175 sq. ft.)

Employees Open Area

  • Data Entry (125 sq. ft.)
  • Clerks (125 sq. ft.)
  • Temporary Employees (100 sq. ft.)

Other Office Area Requirements

  • Reception Area (100 sq. ft. + 10 sq. ft. per person waiting)
  • Conference Room (50 sq. ft + 25 sq. ft. per person seated)
  • Mail Room (125 sq. ft.)
  • Work Room (125 sq. ft.)
  • File Room (200 sq. ft.)
  • Storage Room or Library (200 sq. ft.)
  • Lunch/Break Room (75 sq. ft. + 25 sq. ft. per person seated)
  • Other Specialty Areas (size varies depending upon usage)

Future Growth

Don't forget that you will be purchasing or signing a lease that will lock you into this office space for at least two to five years.

Therefore, add 10% to 20% to the total square footage that you calculated to accommodate future growth. Remember, the additional expense of terminating a lease early and the cost of moving an office after only a short period of time will be more than offset by having this additional space in reserve waiting to be used.

Factor in Cost

You want to ask your real estate agent how much the space costs per square foot. This could help you determine your most important needs, and make sure the space you desire to move your business is also cost effective.

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