“How much office space do I need?” This is one of the biggest questions facing business owners looking to: expand out of their home office, move out of their current office space, or open up a remote office. There are many variables that you need to consider before you can commit to a commercial office space lease with confidence.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
The amount of space needed for an office can vary widely by the type of business and workspace style desired. An office composed of mainly cubicles will obviously require less space to accommodate the same number of workers than an area with every worker in a separate, private office.
If you are the owner of an office-based sole proprietorship, you probably don’t really need much space. Even larger companies with similar numbers of employees will differ greatly when it comes to office space requirements. The answer to ‘how much office space do I need?’ will be completely different for an owner of a telemarketing company than it would be for a law firm, for example. The space required generally varies from 125 to 250 square feet per worker, but your figure will largely be reliant on your preferences and budget.
Common Spaces and Other Considerations
When calculating how much office space you need, you should also consider whether your office will require a meeting room, conference room, reception area, quiet area, printer/fax areas, etc. If you are going to commit to a long-term lease, it should be able to accommodate what your business may need in the foreseeable future. Does the space already have some kind of network setup that can fit your needs?
Be Prepared for Unexpected Changes
In addition to ‘how much office space do I need,’ you should be comfortable asking ‘Is this a reasonable space to occupy if things go downhill?’ The problem that many businesses owners who are locked into leases is that their team may expand or shrink due to company growth or the need to downsize. When a company needs to downsize, the space that they had acquired is often a large, unnecessary drain on their resources. Because of this, many traditional office spaces end up contributing to the failure of the business during an economic downturn.
Find An Office with Flexibility
Ideally, an office would be able to expand or adapt as needed for a business. Many business centers have the kind of flexibility that traditional offices simply do not offer. The ability to increase or decrease your office’s size (and your rent) can be incredibly valuable for your business. Business centers also generally offer short-term leases that are much less daunting than a typical 3-5 year commitment for traditional office spaces.