What is the average square footage of office space per person?

how much office space you needHow Much Office Space Do I Need?

Currently many North American offices average 150 to 175 square feet per person. That number is down from previous years when businesses average 225 sf per person. If going by the rule of thumb for open office space designs that most tech companies use you will average 125 to 175 sf per person. So for 40 people you will need 5,000 to 7,000 sf of office space for rent.

Another factor to take in consideration in determining your space needs is the office building you are renting space from. Based on typical office building parking ratios you are only allowed 3-4 parking spaces for every 1,000 sf of office space you lease. So if you need to have 40 parking spaces then you will have to lease around 11,500 rsf.

What are the typical office sizes?

The following office space ranges can be used a a guideline to help you determine the amount of usable square footage needed for your business based upon how you use the space. Common area load factors (e.g. lobbies, hallways, bathrooms, etc. shared by all tenants) range from 10% to 20% so that will need to be added to calculate the rentable square footage.

  • average office space sf per person Large Office – 200 to 300 sf
  • Medium Office – 150 to 225 sf
  • Small Office – 100 to 200 sf
  • Open area desks – 36 to 100 sf per person
  • Reception – 100 to 400 sf or more. Average 10 sf per person
  • Conference Room – 225 to 450 sf
  • Work Room (copy, fax, mail) – 100 to 300 sf
  • Break area – 120 to 300 sf
  • Storage Room – 50 to 200 sf
  • Corridors / Circulation inside the space – 25% to 35% of the total usable area

Things to do to ensure you lease the right amount of office space

  • Account for planned growth
  • Determine your headcount needs for the expected lease term you will have to commit to
  • Lease office space so that you reach your occupancy limit at about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way through the term
  • Look for spaces that are efficient such as rectangular spaces. Avoid irregular shaped office spaces.
  • Every building and spaces is different so make sure to have a test fit done to ensure it will accommodate your current and future needs.
  • If you plan on growing try to negotiate expansion options on contiguous space or seek termination options in the event the building cannot accommodate your growth needs.

If you have any questions about how much office space your business needs don’t hesitate to contact us at 512-861-0525. We also have a few office space planning tools here.

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