Looking for new office space can be stressful. There is a lot to consider. What is the best location for your business? What are you looking to spend? How much square footage do you need?
When you’re trying to decide how much office space you need, here are some questions you can ask to help narrow down your search. Following these steps can make it easier to decide which offices will truly serve your business well.
How much space do you need per employee?
This is a bit of a loaded question. How much space each employee will require depends on their job duties and the way your organization operates. How much space you can afford per employee also plays into deciding how much overall square footage will work for you. You can approximate how much space you need by adding the space needed for the number of employees you have that fit into various categories. Be sure to account for executive office spaces, unique furniture layouts or additional space for technology and equipment.
Is a low, medium or high-density office environment best for your business?
The answer to this question will depend on your budget and the nature of your business. Thinking in terms of square footage isn’t always easy. Instead, try to determine how much personal space each employee needs in terms of furniture, equipment and daily operations. The trends these days show that many employers are cramming employees into smaller spaces than they were a couple decades ago. Get a basic understanding of each type of environment to determine which is best for your business.
This means that you provide minimal space per employee. While this does allow you to minimize the space you need and therefore pay less in rent, there are some issues found with high density offices. Lower productivity and less privacy for workers are some of the complaints associated with over-crowded offices. If privacy and space are not important to your employees or necessary to run your business, a high-density office environment may be best.
This option provides a balance between value and employee comfort. You provide employees with ample space to do their job comfortably, but not so much that there is a lot of wasted space in your office. This environment also provides a little extra room to grow and add additional employees in the future.
Low density office spaces are great for businesses who require a physical office but have a small staff or those who have a lot of clients in and out of the office. This option is also great for accommodating large equipment or employees who need extra privacy to successfully do their jobs. You’ll likely need a bigger budget per employee to accommodate a low-density office environment.
How much meeting space do you need?
Leasing office space is not just about individual employee workspace. Conference rooms and meeting spaces are crucial for many business. Do you need conference rooms for collaboration or client meetings? How many of these spaces do you need and how big a crowd will you need to accommodate in them? If you have meetings with the entire office staff on a regular basis, a meeting space that fits everyone will make for smoother operations. It may be common to have multiple teams meeting at once, which means you may need more than one conference room.
Your business may rarely need a dedicated meeting area, making it more practical to book meeting spaces or conference rooms on an as-needed basis. This could save you some square footage and expenses, while providing a reliable meeting space when needed.
What additional spaces will you need?
Don’t forget to account for the equipment that you need to carry out business operations. This means you’ll need to leave space for copiers, servers, and other important industry-specific equipment. Preparing a space for these items can save you from cramming them in. Cramped quarters around electronic equipment can lead to a build-up of heat that could damage equipment and make for an uncomfortable environment.
Will clients frequently visit your office? Consider how they will enter the office and where they will go. Do you need a reception area or a waiting room? Is it important to have a lounge for clients to wait comfortably? Make sure you make a great impression on your guests by accounting for this space.
Room for growth
In most companies and circumstances, you hope for growth. That’s kind of the point to running a business, right? You want it to be successful which means more business. That additional business generally translates into more employees which means more floor space and potentially additional meeting space will be needed. Be sure that you account for a couple years’ worth of growth while shopping for a space.
Looking for office space for your small business? Find even more tips in our blog article, Choose an Office for Your Small Business.
Type of office space
Do you need an individual office, or will a shared space be more ideal for your company? The fact that you generally have less commitment when it comes to lease terms with a shared space may mean that you can get by with a little less square footage since you don’t have to plan as much for the future.
Location, location, location
Are you prepared to commit to a single location for the duration of your lease? If you are looking to relocate your business or you are unhappy with your area, it may be beneficial to find temporary or flexible office space. If you love your area and intend on staying there for a while, committing to an office lease is not a problem.
Adding it all up
Add up the square footage you’ll need for open office space and other spaces to determine your square footage requirements. Be sure to keep in mind how many individual spaces you’ll need to help narrow your search even further.
It’s important to keep in mind that your square footage requirements are just a jumping off point when it comes to shopping for a new office space. Ultimately, you’ll need to go tour spaces yourself to determine if they’ll work for you. An office that isn’t laid out well for your business probably won’t do you any good, even if it meets your square footage needs.
If you need help determining how much office space you need in Dallas, Fort Worth, or Austin, don’t hesitate to contact us at Executive Workspace for answers! We work with you to determine the type of space you need and which office will work best for your business. Click here to view all of the office space solutions we have available in the Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin areas. Want more information on finding your perfect office? Download our free guide, 5 Steps to Find Your Perfect Office.
Article by Taylor Roatch