There are a variety of ways to calculate how much office space you need (including using our free office space calculator).

Once you have your own opinion on how much space you need, it’s always good to benchmark your need against similar users.

For instance, how does your need compare to the U.S. National Average? In Q3 2011, the national average was just shy of 360 SF per worker.

Average Office Space per Worker Trend

Average Office Space per Worker Trend

 

What about from an operating expense standpoint? Does it make sense to lease space at the most prestigious address in town? On average U.S. corporations spent around 2.2% of their operating budget on corporate real estate in 2010.

Rent as a Percentage of Operating Expenses

Rent as a Percentage of Operating Expenses

 

How about to your industry? The amount of office space you’ll need certainly depends on what industry you’re in. If your office environment is more of a back office or call center setting, you might be able to get by with 150 square feet per worker, but if you’re in sales or finance, most likely, you’re going to need 300 square feet or more per worker.

Median Office Square Feet by Industry

Median Office Square Feet by Industry

 

Sometimes, even the city you are in makes a difference, too. For example, Gateway cities like San Francisco, Boston and New York average over 400 square feet, but secondary markets like Salt Lake and San Diego average around 250 square feet per worker.

Average Office Space per Worker by City

Average Office Space per Worker by City

Leasing office space is a big financial, and usually long-term commitment. For this reason, it is always a good idea to benchmark the amount of office space you think you need, against these types of metrics.

Source: Estimating Office Space per Worker, Norm Miller, PhD, Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate University of San Diego

Tagged with →  
Share →

Lease vs Buy Analysis Template

This Excel model allows anyone to compare leasing vs owning office, retail or industrial space. Proven to be simple and easy to use, this template has underwritten billions of dollars of transactions.

9 Responses to How much office space do I need?

  1. How about giving that calculator the ability to embed on websites? You know, for those loyal LeaseMatrix users… 😉

  2. Jeff Bernard says:

    very good place to start….also need to look into the future for projected growth based on the needs of the company. If a tenant takes what they need today, they will out grow it within 18 to 24 months. Since very few landlords are interested in a short term lease, the tenant needs to take at least the same percentage of additional space than they need for a 5 year lease term if they intend to grow their company by adding employees during this time.

  3. […] In general, the amount of office space you will need depends on the industry you’re in. The average space typically allotted for one worker has been decreasing from 200-250 square feet/person to as low as 100-150 square feet/person, but the difference in median square feet per worker varies greatly depending on the industry: […]

  4. […] In general, the amount of office space you will need depends on the industry you’re in. The average space typically allotted for one worker has been decreasing from 200-250 square feet/person to as low as 100-150 square feet/person, but the difference in median square feet per worker varies greatly depending on the industry: […]

Leave a Reply