Calculating your office space needs

I was having lunch last week with my friend Jeff.  He works at an architecture firm that helps clients plan interiors and build out their office space.  We got to talking about how to calculate an approximate square footage that clients could use as they begin to evaluate their office space needs.  I mentioned how amazing I find it that there is such a discrepancy in the number of square feet/employee across different industries – the CoStar Q3 Chicago Office Market Report calls this out in detail on page 6.  I asked Jeff if he could share with me a simple ratio that I could share with clients.  He assured me that no simple ratio existed and offered to pass along his per-room guidelines that I could share on the blog.  Below you will find a handy list of square footage figures to help you calculate how much space you might need for your next office.  Of course, these are only guidelines – I recommend consulting with a real estate professional if you want a thorough analysis of your specific needs.

  • Typical President’s Office – 300 to 400 sq. ft.
  • Typical Vice-President’s Office – 225 to 300 sq. ft.
  • Typical Executive’s Office – Average 150 sq. ft.
  • Typical Associate’s Office – Average 100 sq. ft.
  • Manager Workstations – 64 to 80 sq. ft.
  • Workstations – (Can vary depending on function) 36 to 48 sq. ft
  • Conference Rooms – approx. 25 to 30 sq. ft. per person (conference table) – this can vary based on conference room usage 
  • Server Room – 80 to 200 sq. ft. but depends upon amount of usage.
  • Mail/Copy Room – 100 to 150 sq. ft. but depends upon amount of usage.
  • Reception Area – 125 to 200 sq. ft. for receptionist and seating for 2 – 4 people; 200 to 300 sq. ft. for receptionist and seating for 6 – 8 people.
  • Lunch / Break Room – 100 sq. ft. with no seating / 150-225 sq. ft. with a table that seats 4-6 people
  • Circulation (inclusive of hallways, closets, etc…) – Typically add 30-40% on top of the total sq. ft.
  • Loss Factor – Typically add 20% to total sq. ft. inclusive of circulation space.  This will vary based on the building age and construction, but 20% is a good starting estimate.
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One Response

  1. this is so great this helped me so so much!
    Thank you

    cheers,
    Leanne

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