Whether you need to lease office space in Austin or in any other city, how many square feet do you actually need for your business? This is an important question that must be properly researched and answered before signing a lease, whether you are launching a new company or you are an existing one who is considering an expansion or relocation.
If a mistake is made and you lease too little office space you end up busting out of the seams before your lease expires and face a possible lease default if you exceed the buildings parking ratio. Lease too much space and you end up being stuck paying for more space than you need for the duration of the lease term.
Figuring out the right amount of space needed for your business can be challenging. As a general rule of thumb you will need 175 to 250 usable square feet per person; however that depends on the type of space you are leasing, building parking ratios, the space efficiency, your ideal layout, and any other special needs you may have. For an accurate determination of your space needs an office space planner should be engaged, however the following guidelines can help make sure you lease the right amount of space for your business.
Number of Employees – This is the primary factor in determining how much space you need. How many employees do you have now? How many do you estimate you will hire over the next 1, 2, or 3 years? Do any of them work from home?
Building Parking Ratio’s – For office buildings parking spaces are in limited supply so most buildings have some sort of parking ratio only allowing tenants XX number of occupants per XX number of square feet. For example, average parking ratios for Austin Office Space buildings are 3.5 to 4 people per 1000 SF. What that means is that each tenant is only allowed to have 4 occupants for every 1000 SF that they lease. If you lease 4,000 SF, you are only allowed to have 16 employees occupy that space. Questions you might want to ask your employees to estimate how many parking spaces you will need: How many drive to work each day? Do any ride public transportation? Do any carpool?
Space Layout – The more hard wall offices you have the more space you will take up, therefore fewer employees will comfortably fit. A lot of companies today are moving towards open environments where they might have a few offices and an open area for cubicles or desks. Open layouts tend to provide more flexibility, allowing more room for headcount now and later. Try our office space calculator.
General Rule of Thumb – 175 to 250 usable square feet per person; however that depends on the type of space you are leasing (austin retail space, office, or warehouse), building parking ratios, the space efficiency, your ideal layout (open plan or hard walled offices), and other special needs.
Tools You Can Use to Help Determine Your Space Needs and Costs