How Much Office Space Do I Need? - Oktra
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Office space requirements
  • How Much Office Space Do I Need?

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  • The way companies occupy their office space has evolved drastically over the last two years and the impact of the pandemic has resulted in office space becoming more flexible which has redefined how organisations assess their space requirements.

    Working models, sector and headcount all play a part in deciding how much space a company needs but to start your office search, it is good to have a loose idea of how much space you should be looking for.

  • To work out how much office space you need, you can do a calculation based on your employees and space per employee:


    This will give you an estimate of how much office space you should be looking for. As an example of this calculation, a company with 50 employees that wants to have 150 sq ft per employee should be looking to occupy a 7,500 sq ft office.

  • The dynamics of a workplace are unique to every business – what works for one company will not necessarily work for another. Factors like budget and location are influential factors when it comes to taking office space as the cost of office space will fluctuate depending on where it is. With budget and location considered, these are some of the other important questions you need to address when assessing how much office space you need.

  • How much office space do I need per employee?

    Businesses should allow an average of 110 sq ft of office space per employee.

    This is only a slight increase on the pre-pandemic average of 100 sq ft per person. Every business will have different space requirements and it may be possible to allocate less space for a higher density, cost-efficient office. The slight increase in average space allocation is a result of the impact of the pandemic and the introduction of new working patterns.

    Listen below to Oktra’s Design Director, Ian and Creative Director, Dom as they share their knowledge on office space requirements. 

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  • How much office space does each sector need?

    Depending on the industry you work in, your space requirements may be dictated by the type of work you do. It is also an option to look at different types of office space and consider the type of environment that will benefit your people most. This will give you a strong foundation to build your space requirements from to help you identify which property and type of office space are best for the type of work you do.

  • Coworking and Start-up offices
    75-100 sq ft per person

    It is common for start-ups and coworking offices to be open plan flexible, multi-use spaces and small banks of desks. There will be a few meeting rooms and/or private offices with the focus of the office being the use of shared spaces and creating a community environment.

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  • Tech, Gaming and Media offices
    100-200 sq ft per person

    For companies that need more collaborative space for creative sessions and knowledge sharing, it is recommended that you allocate slightly more space per person. Event space and breakout spaces are important to these sectors which will increase the required space. These types of offices typically have rows of desks, product and display areas and a variety of meeting spaces from individual focus rooms to 8-10 person meeting rooms.

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  • Legal, Finance and Insurance offices
    200-500 sq ft per person

    Professional services will usually require the most space per employee. These sectors usually have a large front of house, with privacy and confidentiality a top priority. This creates a need for more space to be allocated to private offices and boardrooms.

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  • What types of space do I need in my office?

    The average space allocation per employee relates to all the areas they can access within the office, not just their workstation. It is used as a guide to help inform the number of facilities like meeting rooms and tea points within an office. This is a list of some of the most common facilities in an office and how much space they require.

    • Small meeting room (2-4 people) 100 sq ft
    • Large meeting room (4-8 people) 150 sq ft
    • Boardroom (15 – 20 people) 250 sq ft
    • Private office 100 – 250 sq ft
    • Front of house 160 – 900 sq ft
    • Comms room 50 – 100 sq ft
    • Print and mail area 64 – 215 sq ft
    • Tea point 61 – 187 sq ft
    • Games area 200 – 1000 sq ft

    The types of space within an office will determine how much space you need. By looking at the areas you required and the type of environment you want to create, you can start to build a picture of the amount of office space you need.

  • Does your working style impact how much office space you need?

    It is recommended that you understand your preferred working style ahead of relocating your office. If you don’t have enough workspace, it will not be possible to successfully implement certain ways of working. By carrying out a workplace study, you can gain insights and real data into your workplace to make an informed decision about implementing new ways of working or how to enhance the current operation of your office.

    When it comes to choosing the best working style for your company, most modern offices will operate with a degree of flexibility but the extent of this will be determined by the type of work you do. There are undeniable benefits associated with some of the more popular ways of working like hybrid, agile and flexible working but there are also some subtle differences which will determine how much office space you need.

    Hybrid working is one of the popular working styles that has been introduced by businesses following the pandemic. Every hybrid strategy is created to suit the company using it but it’s not necessarily affected by the size of their office space.

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  • Trainline and Withers and Rogers redesigned their London offices to incorporate hybrid working and refresh their ways of working. Trainline occupies 55,000 sq ft in Holborn and Withers and Rogers occupy 8,300 sq ft in London Bridge. Both companies have successfully implemented hybrid working to get the most out of their people and their environment as they have maximised their available space.
  • It is important to highlight that hybrid working doesn’t mean a smaller office or a cheaper office, it will require a new approach but businesses don’t need to compromise to adapt their working styles.

    Everyone works differently which is why versatility in your workspace is so important. The way we occupy the office from Monday – Friday has made the correlation between the size of space and ways of working less linear, so there isn’t a ‘rule of thumb’ to go by. Understanding your own business needs is the essential step to unlocking the answer to how you can work most effectively within your own office space.

  • Should you consider growth plans?

    When you are initially deciding on what the right amount of office for your business is, you should be planning for now but also for the future. Moving to a new office may bring new operational or strategic goals to your organisation and looking at things on a mid to long-term basis make help save money or prevent another move in the future.

    Depending on your plans for growth, it may be an option to take an office that is larger than you need with a view to ‘right-sizing’ in the future. This means that you can secure a property that you like and look to grow into it when you’re ready. You can also contract or expand as you need it which gives you far more control over your workplace.

    Taking extra space may seem like an easy way to overspend on your office but while you are not using the space, it doesn’t need to remain unoccupied. Companies that take on more space than they need can sublet their extra space and charge rent to another company that occupies the space on a short-term lease. This is a good way of covering the rental costs until you are ready to take the space back on.

  • The future of office space

    It is anticipated that companies will invest in their property and/or office space to deliver exceptional employee experience and give people a list of reasons to attend the office.

  • While it is likely that people will not spend 5-days a week in the office, workplace elements like company culture will be amplified to help strike a balance between hybrid and office-based workers.

    Now that we have surpassed the knee-jerk reaction of companies wanting to save rental costs and reduce their real estate footprint, the market is demanding quality. Tenants want high-quality office space that improves employee experience through access to amenities and outdoor spaces.

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  • There is an increasing demand for flexible office space as shown in the latest market report from Rubberdesk. With more organisations moving towards a hybrid model, the desire for flexible space has led to reduced supply and higher costs per desk. As companies settle into their new workplace strategies, vacancy rates are declining as more people come back to the office for all or part of the working week.

    Compared to the landscape businesses and employees were faced with in 2020, the reality of hybrid, remote and flexible work is a huge leap into the future of work. This shift has led office space to become more fluid and with hybrid working becoming less of a fad and more of a practical solution as there is a recognition that office space has to offer more.

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  • Office Space Calculator

    Work out exactly how much office space you need using our office space calculator.
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