Assessing Space Requirements :: Finch Freeman

How Much Space?

Office space is described in square metres (m²) and the amount which is required for any given business depends on several factors: your business usage, the type of premises you require, and the allocation of back office/front office space.

Business usage

Space usage is dictated by the business activities, interaction with the public, and by the on-site storage requirements. The following are examples of typical office premises:

  • 15 people in a workstation environment without reception or meeting room at the minimum accepted standard of 10m² per head
    i.e. 15 x 10m² = 150m² tenancy
  • 15 people in workstations with adequate circulation space and facilities – 14m² per head
    i.e. 15 x 14m² = 210m² tenancy
  • 15 people with some individual offices and reception – 17m² per head
    i.e. 15 x 17m² = 255m² tenancy
  • 15 people with boardroom, executive offices and reception etc, 22m²  per head
    i.e. 15 x 22m² = 330m² tenancy

From this you can see that it is not simply how many people you have but the environment in which you wish them to work which dictates how much space you need.

Type of Premises

Efficient rectangular space – depending on the size of the tenancy in proportion to the size of the floor (which effects corridor lengths), the space per head in the preceding ‘usage’ applies.

Odd, irregular space can result in a 10% - 15% addition on the tenancy size — more if you select ‘character’ space. Remember, when considering the purchase of strata space, irregular space is a distinct negative.

Back Office / Front Office

Whilst there is a trend away from very large Reception areas and adjoining Boardrooms (which lessens the amount of space required for Front Office use), there is also a movement away from regimented work stations for Back Office use in favour of circulation, break out areas and quiet rooms. Depending on what staff facilities you require, your floor area requirements may exceed what at first appears a reasonable estimate. Remember to consider your requirement for future expansion or on-site storage.

To calculate your office needs, the process is to take the number of employees currently housed in your premises and using the area of your current premises establish the amount of space per head to create an existing standard. Project forward for say 3 years the number of employees you expect to house and consider whether you wish to allocate more or less space per head bearing in mind the changing nature of business administration with regard to the needs for receptions, boardrooms, meeting rooms, etc.

Having established the projected space requirement you are now in a position to apply the current market rents to the grade of office space which you wish to occupy and this in turn will effect the location that you choose. I.e. central CBD, Fringe CBD, suburban location etc.