Office Space Calculator – How Much Office Space Do I Need?

How much office space per person or how many sf of office space do you need per employee? A general rule thumb is 125 to 175 sf per person in open office layouts and 200 to 250 sf per person in offices with many hard-walled rooms. Buildings have parking ratios you must adhere to as well.

If you lease too much or too little office space it can be an expensive mistake.  Austin Tenant Advisors created this office space calculator to help you estimate the square footage needed for your office.

Landlords charge Tenants based on the number of Rentable Square Feet (“RSF”) leased. The RSF calculation starts as a total of the Usable Square Footage (“USF”), the dimensions of the actual spaces. To this USF is added a Circulation Factor, typically 25% – 35%, which is essentially the space allowing movement between the individual rooms/spaces. Landlords then add to this number a Common Area Factor (“CAF”), typically about 15% – 20%, to account for those areas shared by all tenants in a multi-tenant building (lobby, restrooms, shared hallways, etc.). These calculations are an estimate and should only be used as a guideline. It’s best to hire a space planner/architect to create a program.

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Things To Consider Before Choosing an Office Space

 Plan Ahead

Before you start touring office buildings it's important that you start the process early and plan ahead. Most office lease terms are 3-5 years long so you have to make sure that the space will meet your current and future needs. The leasing process always takes longer than you think. In most cases you want to start your search at least 6-8 months before your ideal move in date or before your existing lease expires. Yes in some situations you can move more quickly however the the larger the space and the more tenant improvements needed the more complicated and time sensitive they are.

Hire Experts

It's important to have an idea of how much space you need. You also need to be familiar with key terms such as the difference between usable space and rentable space. Consider meeting with and architect and give them more information about your company and needs such as your company culture, how you will use available space, the number of employees you have, and the different types of rooms needed.

Decide on an Office Layout

Do you want a large reception area or a small reception? Most office spaces have some sort of break room however the size depends on how many employees you have. Do you have any file cabinets that will require a file room? Everything is going digital these days so it's not likely. Do you want a bathroom inside your space or would you prefer that remain in the common areas?

Plan For Growth

More than likely you won't have the same number of employees in 3-5 years that you have now. Because of that you want to make sure that you either lease more space than you need now that you can grow into, OR negotiate to have a right of first refusal on additional space within your building.

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