Starting a new company can fill you with a lot of excitement, but also uncertainty. How will your company expand over the next few years? How many more employees will you need to recruit? These questions have implications for how much extra space you will require, too.
However, as your budget is probably tight right now, you can’t just treat money as no object, either. Should you strip your space down to the bare essentials or make space for the future, too?
The rule of thumb about office space
One day, if you’d told a business guru that you were planning to move your start-up into a new office but weren’t sure how much space you’d need, they might have advised you to opt for 200 to 250 square feet per person on average. However, that rule of thumb has shrunk since then.
These days, the oft-recommended number could fall as low as 100 to 150 square feet per person, Mashable reveals. Nonetheless, as no two start-ups are exactly the same in their requirements, you don’t have to adhere too closely to this figure.
How many people do you expect to add to the ranks?
This holds particular importance if you are renting the office space rather than buying it. You should choose a particular space to increase the likelihood that you will be nearing its occupancy limit when roughly two-thirds or three-quarters through the term.
You can also expect the question of your company’s anticipated rise in employees to emerge if you enlist a workplace design company to help you with planning your new office space. The company can work closely with you to see how your office space can be laid out for optimum efficiency.
Will different employees require different amounts of space?
As calculating your workspace needs is hardly an exact science, you could struggle to decide for definite. Indeed, your actual space requirements could depend hugely on your specific company, its industry and even the geographic area where the office will be sited.
Nonetheless, The Balance Small Business provides a lengthy list of “rules of thumb” concerning, on average, how much space should be set aside for particular workers. While as little as 125 square feet could suffice for a clerk, for example, a president might need as much as 400 square feet.
Square footage isn’t the only factor
One good reason to be careful even when looking for a whole new office space to rent or buy is that the amount of square footage alone won’t tell you the full story about how efficiently you can use the space. Rectangular spaces are more efficient than those with round or angled corners.
Therefore, rectangular spaces will be able to support more people as well as more equipment – especially crucial if you will rely on well-equipped amenities like a kitchen, break room and conference room. You should also consider whether you will want a more open-plan, where everyone sits together, or hard-wall layout, divided into separate, distinct rooms.