How Much Office Space Do I Need?

Searching for new office space is an important commitment that requires research, time, and some serious consideration. Finding the ideal location that has enough space for employees to provide a comfortable and productive working environment, whilst remaining financially prudent is a delicate balancing act. Whether you’re a start-up looking for your first office, or an established company looking to expand into pastures new, we are going to look at some important information to help you make a well-educated decision about how much office space your company will consume.

To find the right space, it is crucial to become acquainted with the different types of space available on the current market. Whilst the satirical humour of The Office may have immortalised the stereotypical boring office environment, times have changed and the reality of workspaces now is a far more diverse, vibrant, and stylish one.

Traditional lease space is for companies wanting to secure a premises for anywhere from 3 years to 10 years, which would suit a large, established, enterprise fine. But when you’re a smaller company wondering what the next decade will hold, signing up for an office long term may not be the wisest decision. So, what happens when you’re not ready to commit long term, but you’re sick of the sound of the milk steamer in Starbucks, and your kitchen table just isn’t the right professional setting for your growing business?

Flex spaces are offices agreed on much shorter commitments, anywhere between 3-5 years. This allows your office space to increase in size as your company grows, and offers the flexibility needed for companies to survive the 21st century business landscape. Basically, the whole point of working in a flex space is that it is flexible, meaning you can upscale at any time.

There are then even more flexible options, such as co-working or day offices, which require no commitment and can even be used on an ad-hoc basis with no membership whatsoever and be as small as a singular hot-desk.

Once you have decided the level of commitment you want to make to your new company premises, now you can start to think of how much space you’re going to need. The flex market deals with areas in square footage, and the main rule of thumb in the industry is about 50 square foot per person per desk. Once you have calculated roughly how much space you need for your employees, you need to consider what other space requirements you’ll have. What amenities and facilities will you need within your office?


This could be as much as internal meeting rooms, break out areas, kitchenettes, and server rooms or, none of the above. Our incspaces sites all come equipped with a range of meeting rooms, our own IT infrastructure, printing facilities, and communal kitchen areas as standard, meaning you don’t have to worry about fitting those into your office.

The other major draw of flex space is that you can leave the provider to install all the quirky style elements that give your employees a reason to want to come into the space. Our One Embankment site in Leeds is a design led space that puts an emphasis on bringing the outside in with biophilic design, and also boasts a generous internal courtyard and riverside terraces. Your office reflects your brand, and by choosing a flex space provider you can leave the expensive fit out to the experts and focus on what city to base your business in, and how much space to rent out.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS


Whilst working out square foot per person seems a relatively simple task, there are several other factors to consider that will affect how much space you need:

Style of office

Are your employees in the office every day, and require a cubicle style office layout with individual desk space? Or would an open plan layout that caters to a more collaborative, flexible working style benefit your team more? If your team has adopted a hybrid approach to working, you won’t need to provide a desk for every employee, just the max amount in any one day that people would use. Many companies now have desks set up as docking stations, where employees can simply plug in their laptop and have access to an ergonomic workstation all day, but can leave it when they’re done and another team member can use it the following day.

Shape of office

Is the room you’re looking at a perfect square? Square footage is very rarely actually “square”, which means that even if the amount of footage can fit exactly the number of desks you need, some areas may be unusable. This could be due to irregular shaped floorplans, areas away from lighting, or obstructed by doorways. Therefore, it is essential you view space beforehand. Or, at least obtain floorplans so you can work out how you would configure the office with your furniture.

Future expansion

If you plan to expand and hire more staff within the time of your proposed tenancy, you’ll need to factor this into your decision when choosing your office space. As previously mentioned, this is where flex space benefits a lot of companies as you can upscale at any time.

Social distancing considerations

Despite lockdown restrictions easing, many have become accustomed to a more socially distanced way of working. If you’re looking at including communal areas in your office space, does it provide enough room to ensure your staff can work, and socialise, comfortably and safely?


The law

Ensuring your workspace complies with the law is essential, so it is important to get acquainted with The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Article 10 stipulates that

“Every room where persons work shall have sufficient floor area, height and unoccupied space for purposes of health, safety and welfare.”

Now, the official HSE guide goes on to give more specific guidance that you can read here, but if you follow the rule of thumb that 100spft per person is a generous allocation of space, you’ll be well within the confines of the law.

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How Much Office Space Do I Need?

Searching for new office space is an important commitment that requires research, time, and some serious consideration. Finding the ideal location that has enough space for employees to provide a comfortable and productive working environment, whilst remaining financially prudent is a delicate balancing act. Whether you’re a start-up looking for your first office, or an established company looking to expand into pastures new, we are going to look at some important information to help you make a well-educated decision about how much office space your company will consume.

To find the right space, it is crucial to become acquainted with the different types of space available on the current market. Whilst the satirical humour of The Office may have immortalised the stereotypical boring office environment, times have changed and the reality of workspaces now is a far more diverse, vibrant, and stylish one.

Traditional lease space is for companies wanting to secure a premises for anywhere from 3 years to 10 years, which would suit a large, established, enterprise fine. But when you’re a smaller company wondering what the next decade will hold, signing up for an office long term may not be the wisest decision. So, what happens when you’re not ready to commit long term, but you’re sick of the sound of the milk steamer in Starbucks, and your kitchen table just isn’t the right professional setting for your growing business?

Flex spaces are offices agreed on much shorter commitments, anywhere between 3-5 years. This allows your office space to increase in size as your company grows, and offers the flexibility needed for companies to survive the 21st century business landscape. Basically, the whole point of working in a flex space is that it is flexible, meaning you can upscale at any time.

There are then even more flexible options, such as co-working or day offices, which require no commitment and can even be used on an ad-hoc basis with no membership whatsoever and be as small as a singular hot-desk.

Once you have decided the level of commitment you want to make to your new company premises, now you can start to think of how much space you’re going to need. The flex market deals with areas in square footage, and the main rule of thumb in the industry is about 50 square foot per person per desk. Once you have calculated roughly how much space you need for your employees, you need to consider what other space requirements you’ll have. What amenities and facilities will you need within your office?


This could be as much as internal meeting rooms, break out areas, kitchenettes, and server rooms or, none of the above. Our incspaces sites all come equipped with a range of meeting rooms, our own IT infrastructure, printing facilities, and communal kitchen areas as standard, meaning you don’t have to worry about fitting those into your office.

The other major draw of flex space is that you can leave the provider to install all the quirky style elements that give your employees a reason to want to come into the space. Our One Embankment site in Leeds is a design led space that puts an emphasis on bringing the outside in with biophilic design, and also boasts a generous internal courtyard and riverside terraces. Your office reflects your brand, and by choosing a flex space provider you can leave the expensive fit out to the experts and focus on what city to base your business in, and how much space to rent out.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS


Whilst working out square foot per person seems a relatively simple task, there are several other factors to consider that will affect how much space you need:

Style of office

Are your employees in the office every day, and require a cubicle style office layout with individual desk space? Or would an open plan layout that caters to a more collaborative, flexible working style benefit your team more? If your team has adopted a hybrid approach to working, you won’t need to provide a desk for every employee, just the max amount in any one day that people would use. Many companies now have desks set up as docking stations, where employees can simply plug in their laptop and have access to an ergonomic workstation all day, but can leave it when they’re done and another team member can use it the following day.

Shape of office

Is the room you’re looking at a perfect square? Square footage is very rarely actually “square”, which means that even if the amount of footage can fit exactly the number of desks you need, some areas may be unusable. This could be due to irregular shaped floorplans, areas away from lighting, or obstructed by doorways. Therefore, it is essential you view space beforehand. Or, at least obtain floorplans so you can work out how you would configure the office with your furniture.

Future expansion

If you plan to expand and hire more staff within the time of your proposed tenancy, you’ll need to factor this into your decision when choosing your office space. As previously mentioned, this is where flex space benefits a lot of companies as you can upscale at any time.

Social distancing considerations

Despite lockdown restrictions easing, many have become accustomed to a more socially distanced way of working. If you’re looking at including communal areas in your office space, does it provide enough room to ensure your staff can work, and socialise, comfortably and safely?


The law

Ensuring your workspace complies with the law is essential, so it is important to get acquainted with The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Article 10 stipulates that

“Every room where persons work shall have sufficient floor area, height and unoccupied space for purposes of health, safety and welfare.”

Now, the official HSE guide goes on to give more specific guidance that you can read here, but if you follow the rule of thumb that 100spft per person is a generous allocation of space, you’ll be well within the confines of the law.

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Despite vast improvements in most cities’ cycling infrastructure, many commuters still don’t consider cycling an option when planning their daily commute. In this blog we’re taking a look at some of the benefits of cycling, ways that cities are becoming more cycle friendly, and addressing some of the issues that stop people embracing pedal power and jumping on their bike.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Where possible, the Department of Transportation recommends cycling or walking. When you cycle to work, there is a better circulation of air and a lower risk of coming into contact with others, ergo a lower risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus vs a crowded bus or train.

HEALTH & FITNESS

As a low impact, adaptable form of exercise, cycling is great for anybody wanting to improve their overall health and fitness, at their own pace. Some of the benefits cycling to work can have on your life include improving cardio-vascular and aerobic fitness, lowering blood pressure, boosting energy, building muscle and improving coordination. Many gym goers wake up at 5am to fit in a session before work, so if you can sneak a workout into your day during your commute – bonus!

CITIES ARE BECOMING MORE CYCLE FRIENDLY

Most local councils are making great leaps to implement better cycling infrastructure throughout city centres. Leeds, for example, is on a mission to make the city centre cycle friendly by embracing cycling as a normal everyday activity for everyone. You can read about how the Connecting Leeds program is implementing measures to encourage more cycling across the city, here.

Over on the the other side of the Pennines in Lancashire, back in 2015 Helen Pidd, North of England editor for The Guardian, wrote about how “Manchester is a terrible cycling city”. 

Fast forward to 2021, and Manchester City Council is taking great steps to change this perception of their city by investing £1.7 million into an Ancoats cycle route alone, as well as developing an integrated city centre cycle network, compromising of three major routes:

  • The “Picc-Vic” connection (Piccadilly station through to Victoria station) already under development through the Northern Quarter.
  • A connection between Victoria & Oxford Rd stations (along Deansgate), with connections to Salford Central & Deansgate stations.
  • A connection between Oxford Rd station and Piccadilly station (along Whitworth Street) 

Also paying attention to their cycling infrastructure in 2021 is the capital, as record breaking growth in London’s cycle network continues. Sadiq Khan says he is “absolutely determined to build an even better London after the pandemic – a greener and healthier city in which it’s easier and safer to walk and cycle”

STRESS

Sitting in traffic jams or squeezing onto public transport isn’t at the top of many peoples’ lists of favourite activities. Cycling, on the other hand, can transform your daily commute into an enjoyable experience by releasing endorphins, and exposing you to scenic routes you wouldn’t normally get to enjoy if you were stuck on a tube or concentrating on driving. We have all heard about the benefits of daily exercise in terms of alleviating stress, improving sleeping patterns and reducing anxiety. We have also heard about the benefits of getting out into the open and experiencing a bit more fresh air and nature. By choosing to cycle to work you can combine two great mood boosters and start your day off feeling accomplished and productive, before you’ve even entered the office.

MONEY

Whilst obtaining and maintaining a bicycle does incur some costs, in the long run it will work out cheaper than driving or using public transport. Most employers offer a Cycle to Work scheme too, which means you can purchase a bike tax free. It is worth checking to see if your employer is enrolled with a Cycle to Work scheme, and suggesting one if not, as they’re free for employers to enrol in and serve as a great employee perk.

TIME

How many times have you been sat in a traffic jam and a cyclist has whizzed past you, and beat the rush hour delays? Whilst there’s no competition if you’re head to head on an open road, you can be sure that a cyclist is always going to reach their destination quicker than somebody driving through a city centre at 7.30am if you factor in the time wasted sat in traffic jams, searching for parking, then walking from the car park to the office. 

SHOWERS

Did you know all the incspaces sites are equipped with showers? Don’t worry about breaking a sweat whilst you commute to work, you can have the luxury of showering off and beginning your working day feeling fresh and clean.

WHAT ABOUT BAD WEATHER?

There’s nothing wrong with only being a fair-weather cyclist if you don’t fancy going head to head with mother nature. If it is pouring with torrential rain, simply don’t cycle that day. The beauty of having a bike is that you are free to choose when you cycle and when you don’t. Even swapping out one day of your commute from car to bike, or a section of your journey, is better than nothing!

For any incspaces members that do get caught in the rain, break into a sweat or get splashed by mud on their commute into work – we can make your life easier. Incspaces is in partnership with Laundrapp, so all our members can take advantage of a discount off their laundry or dry cleaning bill when collected from one of our offices. As one of the leading laundry and dry cleaning services in the UK, they will clean, dry, and iron any items according to their care labels then return them in as little as 48 hours. No need to take any dirty laundry home with you!

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