A Guide to Help You Choose How Much Office Space Is Needed

Understanding the needs of various employees is essential if you’re going to provide them with the facilities that allow them to do their jobs most efficiently. Unfortunately, many managers don’t know how to plan office real estate in advance of occupying a property. Luckily, there are very good ways to predict the space you will need, and they generally hold true for both offices with cubicles to create secluded workspaces and those that have an open plan.

Management and Executive Offices

The first thing to calculate is your management office space requirement. The president and other high-level management like your CEO or CFO will need between 300 and 400 square feet allotted between workspace and meeting space, and for those high-level operatives, it makes the most sense to expand the office so they can meet with larger groups in that space without compromising privacy. For vice presidents, plan on about half the space given to your top tier management. Finally, for your supervisors and mid-level managers, plan for about 150 feet of office space, but plan to provide private space for one on one employee meetings and other important communications.

Cubicles for Your Workforce

Each worker you have will need between 100 and 175 feet of office real estate between the desk and file storage areas in each cubicle. For programmers and others whose work is almost entirely electronic, less space is generally needed than for accountants and other employees who manage archives of paper files, and those storage requirements in the employee workspace need to be budgeted in addition to any central file archive space you need.

Additional Work Spaces

Don’t forget to plan for your common areas like reception, breakrooms, and conference rooms when budgeting your space. Each of these will be between 100 and 250 square feet, depending on your needs and the size of your workforce. For best results, make a list of each of these administrative or conference spaces, as well as all the break areas and other shared spaces for employees.

Once you have each area calculated, you can add up the total square footage to get a general idea of the amount of office real estate you’ll need to purchase or rent. Of course, the numbers aren’t everything—you will also need to find a property that lays the space out productively for your operational requirements. When you find that, you’ll have a great facility that meets all your company’s needs.