How much office space does your business require? Before you launch or expand your business, you’ll need to find out how much office space you need. There are numerous websites and books devoted to this idea, but even after looking them over, you may not know where to begin. Early mistakes will surely lead to space constraints down the road, and choosing too large a location will likely result in high utility bills and wasted space.
A good rule of thumb is to set aside 175-200 square feet of office space per person, but that figure can differ depending on the needs of your business. By reviewing the issues we’ve listed below, you’ll have more of a chance of ending up with only the space you really need.
- How many employees do you have, and how many will actually be working in your office? Can any of them work from home via telecommuting? Do you expect to hire any more workers within the next couple of years? To get a better idea of your space needs, these are the questions you need to ask yourself.
- What’s your budget? It’s all too easy to spend more than you planned. When you’re looking for an office, start by writing out an itemized budget. Don’t let your employees talk you into ordering a lot of equipment you don’t need, either.
- If you already have an office space in mind, take a look at the available parking options (for both customers and employees). If there will only be paid parking available, be sure Find out how many of your workers drive to work, and how many take public transport.
- Decide which building features you will need, and which you can live without. Sit down with your employees, including them in the planning stage. Today’s offices are more open, with fewer enclosed spaces and more employees per square foot of space.
- Space requirements vary from one industry to the next, and to get a true idea of the amount of space you need, you’ll need to take into account the number of employees you have and whether you plan to receive customers at your office. Don’t forget to allow for transient workers and telecommuters; if most of your workers telecommute, or they’re not always in the office, set up a couple of workstations they can use when they do come in. Using this approach may mean that your telecommuting employees have to put a filing cabinet and desk in their home, but it will be more convenient for you.
Whether a company is new or established, it will have budget concerns when it’s time to look for a new location. Keeping within that budget isn’t always easy, and many business owners end up not having the room for future expansion, or they lose money because they paid for too much office space. By using the tips above, you can find an office location that suits both your needs and your budget.