How Much Office Space Do You Really Need?

The cost of renting office space has spiralled over the past year. In 2017, the global flexible office market has grew by over 18% and this growth has continued to soar in 2018. Recent research has revealed New York City to be the most expensive place in the world to rent a desk, with San Francisco, Chicago, Sydney, Los Angeles, and London rounding off the top six.

Spacious office space

With rising office space costs, it’s becoming increasingly important to ensure you’re only renting the space your business needs. According to analysis by Philips Lighting, businesses around the world can save a total of £1.11 trillion in reduced office costs, by simply reducing the number of empty workspaces and meeting rooms in their offices. However, cutting down on these cost could lead to losing out on the space per employee which a business legally needs.

It’s much easier to work out how much space you need per employee than you may think, and this may help you to cut down on unnecessary spending.

Ensure you have the legal amount of space needed per employee

Most commercial properties advertise the square footage of their office space, but it can get tricky to figure out how much space is required for your business’s needs. Legal requirements for the minimum amount of space per person varies around the world, and the most commonly accepted rule in London is 100ft2 per person. However, the building code of Australia adds 10ft2 per person to that figure, and New Yorkers are allocated at least 125ft2 per person.

To find out how much office space you currently have, you need to work out the volume of your entire office. Simply measure the length, height, and width of your space and multiply them together (length x width x height). Then, divide this by the maximum number of staff you may have in your office at any one time. If the staff do not have the minimum cubic feet required, you should be looking at moving to a bigger office.

Give yourself room to grow your business with your office space

If you are signing a long lease on your office space, you will need to account for company growth. It is essential you have the room to expand your business with new staff hires, without compromising on the necessary space available for existing staff. If you’re looking to expand, you will need to make sure you have room for your new employees.

Alternatively, you may look at renting a flexible serviced office space, allowing you to only pay for the space you need and use. Most serviced office packages include amenities such as kitchens, computer equipment, security and cleaning services. A short-term contract of this sort is ideal for startups, as it offers them the chance to expand or downsize on their workspace at any time.

Only use the office space that your type of business will need

If your business operates a flexible working policy, your employees may not all be on-site at any one time, as some may choose to work remotely, whether from home or other locations. Consequently, you may be able to save on office space, and cut costs; this is best suited to companies who work online, with documents saved in the cloud, easily accessed from any location with an internet connection.

Hot desking can also save your business money on office space. This works best for businesses that work on shifts, as staff are generally not on the rota for every shift. Research has found that hot desking can save UK businesses up to £34 billion per year, as less space is required to fit every employee during a working day.

The amount of office space you will need depends on how many members of staff you have, your business type, and the working environment. If you’re leasing your office space, it’s recommended that you add on another 10% of space beyond what you need, to account for any staff hires in the future. However, most importantly, you should only pay for the office space you can afford, and expand as necessary when you are in a position to do so.

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