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How to Determine the Amount of Office Space You Truly Need

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    Expanding your company is always an important part of any growing business. In order to do so, you have to take on the task of finding the prime location with commercial real estate for a new office. When you begin the process, figuring out the amount of space you’ll need is important.

    Not only does knowing the amount of office space needed help you when it comes to decorating and creating things like private offices, but it pushes the workplace to flow cohesively when operating. Every business is different, and depending on your work style and occupation, your workplace needs will help you determine the specifics of office space and your future office environment.

    So, how do you determine how much office space you need, and is there an office space calculator or a guide with rule of thumb advice to assist in figuring out all of the tiny details? No need to worry, we’ve designed this article specifically for you, and it is filled with all of the ingredients to help you decipher your space requirements.

    Factors That Influence Office Space Needs

    In any hunt for new office space, you need to calculate your priority office needs. Knowing things like the type of company culture you want to implement, how much total usable area you’d like to have, and more will help you with space planning. These needs will assist you in prioritizing the type of office that’ll best suit your business style as well as provide the best type of work areas you need for future growth. Things you’ll want to think of on your hunt for a new office might run along the lines of the following topics.

    Numbers to Know

    Your numbers are the most critical information to have when it comes to dictating how much office space you need. These numbers often help pinpoint what kind of office design you’re looking for, and they’re beneficial to have when it comes to signing things like that lease term.

    We’ve listed 2 of the main numbers you’ll want to have on hand that’ll help you understand and achieve your office dreams. 

    1. Team Size

    How does this help me?

    employees meeting in office space
    • First, how many employees do you need to be considerate of? Will you need space for 10 or 20 employees, perhaps more? Do you think a conference room will be necessary for onsite meetings? Knowing your current headcount as well as how many new hires you’d like to bring on for future growth is beneficial to fully understand your office space needs.                                                                                 
    • This helps determine needs like common space for everyone to work together, if large conference rooms will be needed, and generally what the average office space per employee will look like. Getting an idea of the number of employees you’ll need to ‘house’ during work hours can help greatly.

    2. Square Feet Limit

    What does this help me with?

    determining amount of square feet you need for new office space.
    • Knowing your ideal limit for square footage can help you determine what your limits are as well as just how far you can reach for the sky as a business. It allows you to pinpoint how much office space you need in order to be productive as a company. This is also helpful when it comes to deciding whether or not you’d like to include things like individual cubicles, meeting rooms, storage rooms, and more.
    • Understanding how much square footage you’ll need assists in questions regarding the occupancy limit when the time comes to sign your lease. You’ll want to know this number so that you can ensure there’s plenty of room to work for each employee.

    Take tech companies, for example, an employee may need more space at their desk so that they can test products, work on blueprints for designing them, and many other reasons. Knowing your square footage needs ensures there’s enough space in common areas and offices for everyone to be able to work to the best of their abilities.

    Determining Your Office Design

    Office design may seem like it doesn’t necessarily help with figuring out how much office space you need, but it’s one of the key elements to helping you create an aesthetically pleasing and cohesive work environment. Which, in turn, is great for helping pinpoint your office size needs. 

    Many workplaces provide a kitchen area for lunch breaks or coffee runs and knowing if your employees will utilize a break room helps determine if you need that extra space.

    Additionally, including options such as:

    • Open areas and open spaces for the main workroom are important when it comes to the layout.
    An open area that provides the office space than you need.

    Will many people have cubicles or will they need their own private office to drive business needs? Should there be specified work group areas for projects that may require multiple people to work together?

    Knowing if your operations will work better with an open office can help you determine if the potential locations you’re looking at offer enough space. If they don’t, then you know that you can comfortably move forward to view a different location that does meet your needs. 

    Additional Questions You Should Consider

    On top of knowing how many employees you have and the square footage of the space you’d like to occupy, asking a few extra questions doesn’t hurt. A couple of questions that might be helpful are as follows:

    • Does your business require a file room?
    • Will you need a reception area for times when you have a person waiting?
    • Will you need a mail room?
    • Could you use any of that space for something else?

    Knowing the ins and outs of how many rooms you’ll need, how much open space you’ll need, and all of the numbers you’ll need will help you lay your office design out. This also pushes you to circle back around to your square footage needs and might help narrow down some of your options with floor plans in general. 

    Get Assistance in Determining the Amount of Office Space You Need 

    This may seem like a lot, but all of the factors we’ve listed are part of helping your businesses with future growth and beneficial to determining how much office space you need to meet all of your business goals while sticking to your business style. When you’re ready to discuss your office needs and begin the hunt for a new office in Washington, DC, contact us at The Genau Group for all of your commercial real estate needs.