How Much Office Space Do You Really Need?

Posted on May 27, 2020

When it comes to leasing office space for your business, making all the right decisions can be tough. One of the most common questions comes down to the size and space you need to adequately plan for current employees and future growth.

The first step is to make an initial assessment of your current space, situation and any expansion you expect in the next five years, then compare that to the length of the lease you are considering.

Here are Some Guiding Questions to Consider:

• How many people do you currently employ?
• How many are part-time vs. full-time employees?
• Are there any shared workstations?
• What are your hiring plans during the next five years?
• What kind of business growth can you expect during the length of the lease?
• How long is the lease commitment?
• How many meeting rooms and collaboration spaces will you need?

“The rule of thumb is to plan for about 150–250 square feet per employee.”

It’s important to find an office location that will sufficiently meet your needs without limiting your future growth. However, it is just as important to be conservative in your planning so you’re not paying for unnecessary and unused space, costly utilities and maintenance fees. Moreover, an office with a number of empty desks can actually decrease company morale and may also hinder future hiring prospects.

Trends show that since 2012, square footage needed per employee has been decreasing. Based on current trends, the rule of thumb is to plan for about 150–250 square feet per employee.

Additional Considerations

No two companies are exactly alike. The same can be said for office buildings. One of several determining factors is the nature of your business. How do you and your employees spend a typical workday? Employees who spend a great deal of time away from the office will likely be more content with a smaller space than those who stay put for extended periods of time.

Employees tend to have a higher sense of well-being when they feel that their personal space is being respected. Providing adequate space for workers to feel comfortable so they can stand and move around comfortably is important to psychological wellness.

The Decision

The reality is, there is not a single, definitive solution for the right or “best” office space; only you can decide what space will be right for your needs. Knowing which questions to consider can help narrow your viable options. Company culture is an important element to a company’s success and should be also be considered when hunting for the right location.

Chris Falk is highly experienced in the commercial real estate industry. For questions and guidance regarding office space leases, please contact him at 801-416-1024 or cfalk@ngacres.com.