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How Much Office Space Per Employee Do You Need?

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First of all, compliments on the growth you’ve accomplished so far. Leasing an office space is a true reflection of your achievement. Ere you get yourself an office space, it’s natural to have questions in mind like “How much office space per employee do I need?” or “How will I be planning every element of my office space?” or “Will I have to lease again if my business up scales?”

In this article, we’ll elucidate all your questions, and by the end of this article, you’ll have a distinct perception of how much space do you truly require?

Find out what type of office space do you require?

But even before we start elucidating the questions, you need to ask yourself the subsequent questions as this will help you comprehend what sort of office space do you require?

  1. How will I accommodate my employees? Do you want to squeeze in all your employees in the leased space or do you want to grant them little room to breathe?
  2. Do you visualize your office with copious individual cabins or do you want an open space with employees working in cubicles?
  3. Do you want to grant each employee an individual desk, or do you want them to share the work desk?
  4. How many employees will be present in the office in any instance? How many will be working part-time and how many are permanent?
  5. What will be the number of employees working remotely?
  6. How many people will be operating in each division?
  7. What are the operational goals you want to achieve by leasing the workspace?
  8. If you have a small team, then will co-working space be a more viable option for you?

Now that you’ve visualized the type of workspace you require. Let’s visualize your perception into some numbers.

  • Max Utilization: You will only require 80-120 square feet of space per employee. This is ideal when you are starting and have multiple teams operating under your belt. This sort of space will have a large workspace to accommodate your employees and fewer private cabins.
  • Moderate Utilization: Inhere, you will only require 120-230 square feet of space per employee. It’s a balanced blend of private cabins and workspace with cubicles. This is the most leased office space type across the globe.
  • Generous Enough: This is the type of space you will go for if you have a law firm or financial firm because you need a lot of private offices in your office space. The ideal size here is 230-500 square feet. 

Now that you know how much space you require per employee. Multiply your desired space size with the number of employees you wish to house. For instance, you wish to house 25 employees, and choose to go with the 120-230 square feet size, then you would require a total of 3000 (120*25) square feet.

 Suggested Read: Recent spurt in managed office spaces

Note that, due to COVID-19, you would want to go for 20-30% larger space than this standard to enforce social distancing mandate. Or if you plan to call your employees in batches, then this standard will be a precise fit for you.

But, when you’re leasing the office space, you have to account your future growth and then lease the office space. Because in a year when your business up scales, you will for certain need to either look for new office space if your current landlord doesn’t have a vacant office space. This implies paying up a fine upon cancelling your current lease agreement. Or if your landlord has space, then it’s perfect. But this could also mean having a part of your team in another block or floor. So, to avoid any discrepancy, you should always lease 20-25% extra space. It will only cost you much scarcer than scratching your agreement and moving out to a new place.

Visualizing the layout of your office space 

Now, your mind would be questing if I need this much space for my employees then how much space do I need for my cabin, conference room, pantry, reception, breakout space and washroom? Well, when we talk about space per employees, then this space will include your conference room and every other essential element that should be present in an office.

To accommodate employees as per social distancing mandate, you only need 25-50 square feet per employee. And trust me, this is a very generous amount of space. Remaining space would be divided into other elements of the office.

Also Read: Social distancing in office space

 Let’s see how much space each element will occupy:

When you’re outlining the layout of your office, knowing the dimensions of each element will make the chore much easier and precise.

  • Large Private Office: 200 – 400 square feet
  • Medium Private Office: 150 – 250 square feet
  • Small Private Office: 90 -150 square feet
  • Open Space Workstations: 60 – 110 square feet per employee
  • Work Group Areas: 80 – 100 square feet per employee
  • Conference Room: 50 + 25 square feet per person seated
  • Reception Area: 100-200 square feet
  • Break Room: 75 + 25 square feet per employee
  • Pantry Space: 100 – 200 square feet
  • Halls/Corridor: 20-30% of the total usable space

Now that you’re aware of the standard dimensions of every element. Let’s help you outline your office space.

When planning the payout, you must know what value each element in your office hold. Meaning, if you wish to give to some free time to your employees, then planning an office space with a large break room would be apt. Or if a large number of clients will often visit you, then having a conference room that can house 10-15 people would be apt. Or if your team is dense, then allocating the majority of space to your employees is the right way.

With this information in hand, you’re ready to shoot for the stars. But one last thing you must consider is

Planning Your Future

Like how you’ve planned for your future so far, you must plan your office space for the future now.

Like I said earlier, terminating a lease agreement will cost you with fines, moving cost of your office, business loss of at least 2-3 days and let’s not even talk about the hassle involved in moving to a new space.

To avoid this, ask yourself the subsequent questions:

  1. Am I planning to hire new staff shortly and if yes, then how many?
  2. And when am I planning to hire new employees?
  3. What will be the type of recruitment? Sales? Field sales? Administrative or Executives?
  4. What will be the length of the lease agreement?

Questing yourself with these questions will tell you a lot about your future growth. Now, that you have a draft in your head, lease 20-25% more office space to house your future.

Also Read: What’s next for co-working?


With this information at your disposal, it should be fairly easy for you to outline the layout of your office space and get an idea of how much space do you require. But the actual numbers can only be arrived at by officially talking to the landlord. Talking will elucidate all the questions in mind and widen the perspective. So, go ahead, ring up the landlord and talk.



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