How much office space do I need per person?

Determining the appropriate amount of office space per person depends on several variables, including your office layout and design, the nature of the work performed, and the need for collaboration spaces.

First we need to know what we mean by office space, as there are many different measures that can be used for office space. If you're just looking at the amount of space required for a basic workstation, then a good rule of thumb budget is 1.6 meters x 1.8 meters (a total of 2.88 square meters). However, this doesn't take into account any access pathways, services, or structures.

Assuming that we are referring to the Net Internal Area (click here for definitions) of a building then industry standards typically suggest an average of 100 to 150 square feet per person for traditional office environments. This translates to approximately 9.5 to 14 square meters per person.

Please note these are averages and actual space needs may vary. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Office Layout: An open-plan office may require less space per person than individual cubicles or private offices. However, it's important to balance any space savings with the potential impact on productivity and employee satisfaction.
  2. Nature of Work: The type of work your employees do can significantly influence how much space they need. Employees who spend most of their time at a computer might require less space than those who need room for physical tasks or equipment.
  3. Collaboration Spaces: Many modern offices include spaces for collaboration and informal meetings. These spaces might require additional room beyond individual workstations.
  4. Hot Desking:  As discussed here, hot desking systems can help you manage your office space more efficiently. By enabling employees to book desks when they need them, you may reduce the overall office space required.

Moreover, it's important to remember that local building codes may establish minimum standards for the amount of space per person in an office. Consulting with a commercial real estate professional or checking local regulations can ensure your plans are compliant.

Creating an environment where your employees can be productive, comfortable, and safe should be your primary concern. Be open to feedback and be prepared to make necessary adjustments.