How much office space do I need? | WorkPad

How much office space do I need?

January 30th, 2020

When looking for an office – space is not to be underestimated. 

We’re not talking about just walking into an empty office floor and roughly guessing how many desks you think could fit in there. 

We’re talking about getting a detailed quote, outlining in square footage available across the entire office layout.

But why would you need such a detailed overview, you ask? 

Well, in simple terms, these numeric values will give you the best possible idea as to whether this is the right amount of space for your business when choosing an office. 

As a result, there’s probably a few answers you’ll need to know before signing on the dotted line on any prospective contract… 

How much office space do I need per employee?

First and foremost – it’s wise to know your exact headcount before shopping around for office space. 

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is miscalculating the amount of space they need – whether that’s underestimating the amount of space they need (leaving them short) or overestimating the amount of space (invariably leading to them paying over the odds for surplus space). 

Breaking down the amount of space per head is a sensible way to avoid this miscalculation. 

Typically, in London especially – the rule of thumb is that you should try and cater for around 100 sq ft per person. That’s around 50 sq ft for workspace and 50 sq ft for communal breakout space. 

It’s by no means essential to follow this rule to the exact sq ft – but nevertheless, these are good guidelines to keep in mind if you want to ensure each employee has all the space they need to enjoy coming into work every day. 

How much office space is needed for amenities?

Again, based on the number of people in your organisation – you can roughly work out the amount of space you’re likely to need for the various office amenities.

However, certain amenities that won’t be taken up by people – such as server rooms, also need to be factored into the equation. 

Here’s a breakdown of the space specifications you might want to consider: 

Small meeting room (approx 2-4 people)

100 sq ft

Large meeting room (approx 4-8 people)

150 sq ft

Board room (15-20 people)

220 sq ft

Conference room (20-30 people)

300 sq ft

Small server room (5 mounted racks max)

40 sq ft

Large server room (30 mounted racks max)

120 sq ft

Kitchenette area

100 sq ft

Breakout area

300 sq ft

What to consider when choosing the size of your office space

Aside from the above, you may want to consider the following:

  • Room to grow: if you have long-term ambitions to grow the team, then you might want to keep a few sq ft free to do so. This means leasing an office that you can grow into over time then so be it. The last thing you want to end up with is a cramped office after taking on one or two new hires. 
  • Layout: do you want an open-plan office with lots of room to collaborate? Or are you looking for a space with quiet nooks and crannies where staff can sit and work in peace and quiet? The layout of your office has a lot to answer for from a cultural perspective – so you’ll want to ensure that this is a good fit.  
  • Willingness to share: in some instances, you won’t have all of the space available exclusively reserved for your business. If it’s a coworking space, the likelihood is that you’ll need to share this with other organisations – in which case, you might want to try and lease the biggest space available to ensure you’re not reading on anybody else’s toes (or vice versa). 

The benefits of a flexible office space

Flexible office space enables you to remain agile as a business. 

With a flexible contract, you can lease the space for as little or as much time as you like – depending on your immediate business plan. 

This also makes it a cost-effective option – as all the in-house services you get are absorbed into the overall package. 

How much office space does my company need?

Hopefully, all of the above can help you answer that question – but if you need further guidance around how much office space you might need in relation to the size of your business, we’ll be glad to talk you through your options. 

Get in touch today via email at or give us a call on 020 3929 3782

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