Calculate how much office space you need, per person or per amenity, with our comprehensive guide.

When you're searching for business space, you want to be confident that specifications will accommodate your staff, your daily operations and your future ambitions. This simple but comprehensive guide explains all the main things you should consider before signing the dotted line on any tenancy agreement.

Using business space

When calculating how much square footage your office or workshop needs, you should consider how efficient or generous you want to be with allocating space for staff.

A generous allocation of 100 sq ft per person allows 50 sq ft for desk space and another 50 to accommodate room in communal areas such as meeting areas and kitchens.

An allocation of 75 sq ft per person allows more efficient use of space, though this should be justified by the type of roles and range of amenities within the workplace.

How much space do I need per person?

Some examples of office space size requirements are provided below:

Space for

Size in sq ft (Efficient)

Size in sq ft (Generous)

2 people

150 sq ft

200 sq ft

6 people

375 sq ft

500 sq ft

10 people

750 sq ft

1,000 sq ft

12-15 people

1,125 sq ft 

1,450 sq ft

How much office space for amenities?

As well as staff, your new office space should accommodate necessary faculties: from breakout spaces to server rooms. Ordinarily, you should allow space for amenities to the following specifications:

  • Small meeting room (2-4 people) = 100 sq ft
  • Large meeting room (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 (up to 5 racks) = 40 sq ft
  • Large server room (up to 30 racks) = 120 sq ft
  • Kitchenette = 100 sq ft

Our Workspace properties eliminate concerns about many of the above by providing meeting rooms, shared social and breakout areas café and kitchenette facilities as well as high-speed internet infrastructure on site as standard.

Things to consider when calculating office space requirements

Keeping the above guidance in mind, there are a few main things to consider when working out how much space you need.

What style of office space works best? The 100 sq ft per person rule works best for open plan offices, which have become much more popular in the last decade. Having everyone sit close to each other can encourage innovation and efficiency. Open plan workspaces can also reduce costs by sharing resources such as printers, photocopiers and even lighting. However, this doesn't suit every type of business. If you want to encourage a more isolated work style, with cubicles and workstations, consider allowing up to 200 sq ft per person. Of course, you could also opt for a blend of both worlds.

Is your business set to grow? If you're thinking of hiring new staff, it's worth making space for the extra employees when calculating space requirements. You can give your current staff more space and reduce it over time. Alternatively, set aside the space to fill in as you make new hires. In any case, it's worth factoring in around 10-20% extra square footage to accommodate the future headcount.

What is the condition of the space? Not every square foot is created equal. Make sure to investigate the floor plan of your office space. Some properties contain awkward corners and nooks, far from windows and lighting, which are practically unusable as workspace. Ensuring that desk areas are well-lit is an absolute essential in a modern work environment if you want to encourage  employee motivation and satisfaction.

Can you be more efficient with equipment space? Business space can be expensive, so minimizing costs by cutting space allocation seems sensible. Instead of reducing staff space, who require room for productivity, consider minimizing equipment requirements. Many companies are reducing their physical storage needs by utilising Cloud computing services and external storage units available for hire. If your company absolutely needs its range of printers, scanners, photocopiers and multi-monitor desk areas, you should ensure enough square footage is provided to accommodate these.

What are legal minimum standards for office space per person? Business space requirements are also governed by building codes and regulations, as well as employment law. Official guidance states: "the total volume of the room, when empty, divided by the number of people normally working in it should be at least 11 cubic metres", or approximately 55 sq ft. Considering desks, machinery, cabinets, etc., this figure usually falls below the actual, practical requirements of modern workspaces.

How much does the office space cost per square foot? Most property agents and companies charge leasing costs according to the square footage of the space. Ensure the space you end up with is cost-effective and meets the needs of your company by comparing and contrasting the costs and specifications of each property on a case-by-case basis.

How much office space does my company need?

In summary, you should be able to use calculate your exact office space requirements based on:

  • Your current employee headcount
  • Equipment and amenities required
  • Plans for future growth and expansion
  • The best style or floorplan for your company

We can help to match your company to the ideal office space, with our extensive range of flexible, creative and high-spec workspaces across London. Get in touch to arrange a viewing or discuss your office space requirements today.

Join the Workspace community today. With over 66 locations across London, we’re sure to have the right space for your business to thrive, not to mention plenty of likeminded neighbours for you to network and connect with.