How Much Office Space Do You Need Per Person?

Finding suitable office space is always challenging. Requirements change along with capacity, and it can be difficult to know what individuals need versus what they prefer. So how much office space do you need per person? 

The type of business you run and the work you do will inform the size of space you require. For example, a fulfillment warehouse will need more room than a tech company and a printer needs more space than a call center.

Do all employees need private offices? Are you planning on cubicles? Is your company more effective using an open coworking space? Different working arrangements require varying amounts of space. Private offices for executives can take between 200 and 400 square feet, while desks in an open office environment only require around 80 to 100 square feet per person. 

What is a typical office size?

The required minimum space per person in office environments depends on a number of factors. When planning, finding a balance between optimal efficiency, productivity and employee satisfaction is key. 

In the last 20 years, the average office size has decreased. At the start of the century, 325 square feet of office space per person was standard. Now, the average office space ratio per person is 150 to 175 square feet

It's tempting to go for as compact a space as possible to save money. However, experts recommend employers should have no less than 75 square feet for each employee who is working in a shared office. Maintaining a small space may be financially beneficial, but having an office density (average square footage per employee) that is too high will cost you in the long run.

Why considering office density matters

When planning your office space, thinking about office density is critical. If there are more people trying to work in a space than can comfortably fit, your office density is too high and this will impact everything from productivity and happiness to workplace culture. A low office density is less problematic for employees, but it's inefficient and money is wasted on underutilized space.

The 3-30-300 rule helps calculate costs based on the number of employees and space requirements. For each square foot of space, the average company spends $3 on utilities, $30 on rent and $300 on payroll per year. This calculation can help during the decision-making process on office space when determining the office space ratio per person and your business needs. 

How much office space per person do you need?

The answer may actually be none at all. 

Over the years there has been a shift, particularly in the past three years, in the amount of hybrid and remote workers in the workforce. This trend is expected to continue if not increase and remote working drastically reduces the amount of office space businesses need. 

All types of businesses are reevaluating their space needs and many are trading physical offices for virtual offices. Perhaps you and your employees desire a more flexible work environment and you can operate effectively without a physical location. Or maybe you're looking for drastic ways to cut costs to get through a difficult financial quarter. A virtual office may provide an effective solution for your business.

Determining how much office space per person you need comes down to the type of business you run and the space you require. Ultimately, you want your employees to be comfortable and have enough space to do their jobs effectively. However that looks, finding the right fit will make all the difference.


Subscribe to Our Blog

Archive Show Archives