Very few employers understand the importance of measuring sufficient office space when moving premises. Whilst commercial agents such as Wadham and Isherwood provide a fantastic range of commercial premises, it is up to the business itself to understand just how much office space is needed.The standard way of measuring the size of a property is traditionally the square foot, especially when talking about commercial properties. However, few people can easily visualise this when thinking about a space for their business. Even more crucial is the question of how much space will be appropriate when you are migrating your business to a new location. There are a number of things to think about, some of them are technical, some legal and some are in regards to budget and finances.
Legally, each employee in your work room should have about 53 square feet, or 11 cubic metres. You can see if your current space meets these requirements by taking the volume of the room you are considering and divide that by how many employees will be working in that room. This number is considered a minimum. You will likely need more space, especially if your business utilises any equipment or has furniture that also occupies space. It is important to note that this requirement won’t apply if your business is held in machine cabs, sales kiosks or any other specially designed small space.
What are the important things to factor into how much space you will need?
To answer this question, setting aside the legal requirements, one must first approach the problem with optimism. The goal should always be to expand your business. Choosing a smaller space for your office may be a more affordable option and often start-ups make do with small spaces, but a successful business will need a bit of room to grow. For this reason, it might be smart to allow yourself a little extra room. Not only will you be able to accommodate more workers, this can help the overall growth of your business start to snowball. If your business uses a network of computers, you should also allow an extra room that can be used to house your servers and common equipment.
Consider the Growing Needs of the Business
If you don’t expect to see much growth in the immediate future, you might consider opting for a shorter lease period, allowing you to save money now but leaving the door open for a later move to a larger location. You might also try to negotiate the right to get notified first if any of the properties adjacent to yours become available, so if the opportunity arises you can expand without having to change locations.
The Minimum is Not Always Enough
Of course, making sure that your employees have enough space to work is important, but the minimum isn’t always enough. Think about the nature of your average employee’s day on the job. If your business takes a great number of calls, you should think about allowing extra space so that the numerous voices aren’t creating a clamour that makes it difficult for them to hear the client they are speaking with. In addition, if you regularly take orders and have physical inventory, you should think about more than just storage space. The layout of your business can make a big difference. You should make sure that delivery areas are free from obstructions so that product can be loaded or unloaded efficiently.
Going Paperless Saves Space and Trees
You should also think about how much you rely on physical documentation. Going paperless can save your office a great deal when it comes to filing systems, stationary and other supplies. Your business could save both space and money by switching to a system that is as paperless as possible. This will free up space that would otherwise be used by printers, scanners, filing cabinets and other forms of storage.
Consider Vertical Spacing
Finally, don’t forget about vertical space in addition to the floor space of a location. Stack-able shelves are a great choice, especially if your location has uneven ceiling heights or door frames that are lower than normal. In addition, it is usually quite affordable. Buying modular forms of shelving will help ensure you have exactly what you need without unused bookcases or shelves taking up valuable space while leaving the option open to expand your storage as necessary. Often people think about desks, drawers and filing cabinets when they consider what is office furniture, but don’t be afraid to make unconventional choices. Besides being useful, it can help give your office a more unique and decorative look.
Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to figure out exactly how much office space you need, however, once you are aware of what you should look for in a space, you can see ways to take advantage of unusual spaces and smaller locations without having to sacrifice the growth of your business.