Easy to Use Office Space Calculator to Help Determine Necessary Square Footage
Before you start touring, it may seem relatively difficult to guestimate exactly how much space you need. We often encounter tenants looking for 3,000-7,000 square feet. If your search zone is also this broad, you will be able to save a great deal of time down the road by utilizing an office space calculator.
Between huddle rooms, mail rooms, conference facilities, break rooms, bullpens, managerial offices, executive offices, reception areas, hallways, entrances, and wasted space, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when determining how to maximize your square footage. Think this is important? Let’s run the numbers on why an office space calculator can help.
Say you are looking for 5,000 square feet and your current lease rate is $20. If you decide to move and save $1.50/square foot on an annual basis, you can save $7,500 over the next year. Instead, if you could make your space 15% more efficient at the same lease rate of $20/sf, you could save $15,000 per year. Over a 5 year term that would be $75,000. Anyway, it is certainly enough to make sure you don’t overlook how efficiently you lay out your space.
If you would like our excel office space calculator, please send us an email at email@example.com with “office space calculator” in the subject line. Alternatively, here is a breakdown below if you prefer a more visually appealing approach.
What are the different items to consider?
Workstations: As a general trend, we are seeing many businesses switching to having a higher number of workstations, as opposed to private offices. There are a few obvious benefits to this approach. First, private offices take up a greater amount of square footage. Along with each office is the accompanying hallway space and wall space necessary to support it. While this may make each employee feel more prestigious to have their own office, it may also have some adverse side effects.
Workstations can be in the form of cubicle systems, open desks, or partitioned hybrids that allow for some privacy, but also encourage collaboration. Costs here can vary greatly. Furniture systems from the top name brands can be up to several thousand dollars apiece, or you can save a significant amount of money by going to a used furniture vendor or the likes of Ikea, American Furniture Warehouse, Office Max, etc…. It can be surprising how much of an impact the furniture choice can have on the company culture. Leaving the desks in an open layout without partitions will likely lead to higher connectivity and better communication between employees. At the same time, it may lead to less productive employees if the job function requires them to put their heads down and crank out high volumes of individual deliverables.
Meeting Areas: As seen in the office space calculator, there are certainly more variations of meeting areas than one might imagine initially. Whether you are going to be holding training sessions, classes, regular group meetings, or small sided discussions, meeting rooms can provide much needed privacy. One of the downsides to an open workspace is the reduced ability to have private conversations, which can be rather necessary from time to time. I’m sure you can image a couple tid bits of informations that would be better kept behind closed doors than passed around your organization. An easy way to compensate for this reduced privacy is to increase the number of meeting rooms. A large conference room and a variety of small huddle rooms is a common way of doing so.
Technology for these meeting areas can be as simple as a whiteboard or as complex as a high definition projector that drops out of the ceiling with a high quality wireless audio system accompanying it.
Additional Considerations- Supplementary Items on the Office Space Calculator
Sound masking- if you have taller ceilings or a high density of employees in a small amount of space, consider taking consideration for sound masking equipment. One common approach includes installing speakers that produce a white noise. This is very effective at minimizing the feel of an echo throughout the space. There are absorptive panels that can be installed on the ceilings or walls as necessary that will reduce echoing effects as well. If you have a call center or a similar setup with a large number of employees on the phone in a small space, we would certainly not recommend overlooking the sound issue.
Security- Whether it is because of private data, equipment, or important files, most companies can imagine it would be detrimental to have someone break in to their office. As you could imagine, there are a multitude of security options, but keep it in mind as an additional item when putting together a plan via your office space calculator.
Access- Depending on your local building codes, you will need a certain number of entries depending on the size of your office. Just an important thing to keep in mind if you are visualizing a plan in your head or without a professional space planner.
Natural light- Studies prove over and over that natural light actually does have an impact on productivity. Keep this in mind when deciding where to put offices and when choosing building materials. A space plan is necessary to account for this, rather than just the office space calculator we provide. While adding glass doors or windows on interior walls and entry ways may be more expensive, it has a big impact on the overall feel.
Common areas- One thing that is easy to overlook is the common area factor. Our office space calculator uses 20-30% as a typical figure to include for hallways and unused area.
Server room- It is 2014 and while many companies have moved their servers completely off site, many still have onsite equipment. Considering the fact that the value of this equipment diminishes so quickly, we would recommend looking into offsite or 3rd party storage, but as with anything, the economics are important to consider and won’t always make sense.