How much office space do I need? Our comprehensive size guide

how much office space do i need - this much

How much office space do I need? There is no one-size-fits-all to this question as it depends on a whole host of factors. And that isn’t even including how the increase in hybrid working has turned office sizes into moving targets.

With this in mind, we’ve created this in-depth office size guide to help you through the business relocation process. It covers how many square feet of office space per employee you’ll need, the critical considerations when selecting an office and the various costs involved.

How many square feet of office space per employee is required?

On average, in a modern open plan office, you should plan around the rule of 100 square ft per person. This allows for 50 square ft of desk space and amenities, and then the other 50 square ft is to accommodate room in a communal area.

If you are slightly more constrained, you may be able to justify only 75 square ft per person. However, this does the depend on the types of roles and the amenities within the office. The absolute minimum under the law is approximately 55 square meters per individual, although we recommend more for comfort and practicalities.

Number of people Size of space
2 People 150 – 200 square ft
6 People 450 – 600 square ft
10 people 750 – 1000 square ft
15 people 1125 – 1500 square ft


Now, what space do amenities require?

You shouldn’t only be thinking about staff, you also need to consider which amenities you are going to need and the amount of space they will take up. For starters, you’ll need a kitchen, dining area, toilets and meeting rooms and these can ramp up your requirements very quickly. Always ensure to plan ahead in order to stay within your budget and avoid mistakes later down the line. Hence, why we’ve provided the table below to give you an idea of how much room different amenities can take up.

Amenity Size of space
Small meeting room (2 – 4 people) 100 square ft
Large meeting room (4 – 8 people) 150 square ft
Board room (15 – 20 people) 220 square ft
Conference room (20 – 30 people) 300 square ft
Small server room 40 square ft
Large server room 120 square ft
Kitchenette 100 square ft


how much office space do i need for an open plan office

Critical consideration when choosing a rented office

When deciding on a new office there are other important things to consider besides size and these considerations have an impact on both the budget and productivity and overall wellbeing of your employees.

Office layout planning

Office layout should be a key consideration – don’t decide on square meterage alone. An office space may be 1500 square ft, but only 1200 square ft may be usable as desk space. Low natural light or low ceiling can also reduce workable office space, so take this into account too.

Another important deliberation to factor into your final decision should be how each department’s function and workflow is impacted by your planning. You may want to select an office layout that prioritises collaboration or group activity, but ultimately the best way to go is designing an office that will reflect your company’s values, vision and image.

Is your office going to be open plan?

If you opt for an open plan space, it’s important to do your research. Recent studies have dispelled the myth that the open plan office is the pinnacle of productivity. In fact, it turns out that open offices are linked to lower employee satisfaction and higher levels of stress and fatigue.

This means that if open plan is your top choice, you should make the most of the space to maximise employee wellbeing. You can do this by ensuring the lighting, ceilings, noise level and overall appeal of the workspace are designed with their interests in mind.

How many square feet of open plan office space per employee is required?

Allocating 100 square ft to each person will work well in an open plan office where everyone can sit close together. However, if the roles in your office require privacy, and thus a small office or cubicles, then you will need to allocate more space to account for it. Generally speaking, for roles necessitating privacy or a quiet working environment it is recommended to allocate 200 square ft of space.

Is company expansion on the cards?

It’s obvious that with company expansion comes more people. If you know of or are planning on expanding, then you need to consider this when choosing your office. You will need to begin with an office surplus to your needs initially, but this means that when the company expands you will have enough room for new employees.

It is possible to move office once you hire more staff, however you will need to check your lease contract as the majority of them include a fee for exiting early. If you are going to be expanding in the near future, it is best to acquire a short-term lease deal and try to get one where you will not have to pay any early exit fees.

Hybrid working

During and after the pandemic hybrid working has become much more common. Therefore, it is definitely something that should be at the forefront of your plans if your company works on a flexible or hybrid basis.

An astute decision here is to opt for a smaller, more flexible workspace. This means that you can tailor to the workforce and operate more cost-efficiently. After all, it is unlikely that all of your employees will come into the office at one time.

worker wondering how much office space do i need

Office moving costs to consider

When you do decide on what office size you will need you will need to look at the costs of moving to your new office. Many property agents and companies rely on the square footage of the space to charge leasing costs, but this isn’t always the case.

The total cost varies depending on numerous factors such as distance, number of employees, building type, amount of furniture, urgency, and the time. There can be other costs associated with moving office too, but not all of these apply to every office move.

Dilapidation costs

It’s often a requirement that you leave your previous office in the condition it was when you first moved in. If the office condition is not as good an id need of repair, you will be charged. The repair costs vary between £5 and £20 per square ft depending on how much needs repairing

Refurbishment costs

The condition of your new office will determine whether your need to spend any money on refurbishment. If your office is in great condition, then you won’t have to spend anything. However, if it requires a lick of paint, for example, then you will need to take this into consideration.

Fit out costs

If your new office has the space but not the right layout for your business needs, then you will have to spend money on fitting it out so that it works the company. Again, it would be worth hiring a professional to do this for you if the process is so drawn out as to affect everyday business.


If you are purchasing a new property, you’ll need to get a survey done to ensure that there are no surprises once it’s in your hands. There are different levels of survey which can be completed and the one you choose will depend on things such as the total cost of the office, its age and the condition you are buying it in. As such, this should all be taken into account when deciding which level of survey you need.

Solicitor’s expenses

Another key expense of moving offices is your solicitor’s fees. You will need a solicitor to carry out conveyancing if you are purchasing the property, or if you are renting then the solicitor will check the lease terms for you and advise where necessary.

Hiring a qualified removal company

If your office move is going to be time consuming and require hours of labour, then you will need to hire a professional to carry out your office move. You should hire a well recommended and reliable company that is able to tailor to your particular needs. Check reviews on places like Trustpilot, Google and social media platforms such as Facebook.

VanaMango is an excellent option with unlimited availability and access to thousands of reliable, professional and insured removal companies. Business relocation is simple and stress free thanks to our straightforward booking system and shining customer service. We’ll ensure your office equipment arrives safely and on time, no questions asked.

Want an extra pair of hands?

We’ve answered the pivotal question, how much office space do I need? But now it’s time to choose the right office relocation company for the job. VanaMango offer a brilliant service at affordable rates. Get the ball rolling with a free online quote – you can save this for later or use it to schedule your office move via our booking form.