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HOW MUCH OFFICE SPACE DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED?
Calculating the amount of space necessary is not an exact science – no two offices or companies are the same, and there is no one-fits-all solution.
What’s more, when it comes to leasing or buying office space, the commercial property industry deals almost exclusively in ‘square metres’. And, for the majority of tenants and buyers, this is unfamiliar territory.
So, how do you get the balance right to ensure you’re not paying for space that you don’t use?
The key to estimating the amount of space you actually need is to think about how your employees or customers will use the area now and in the future. Consider the following:
HOW MANY STAFF YOU CURRENTLY EMPLOY
The Building Code of Australia requires a minimum of 10m2 per person. However, this is based on the total floor area and can include things like corridors, kitchen, amenities, furniture etc. For this reason, most companies tend to work off a minimum ratio of 12-14m2 per employee.
HOW OFTEN YOUR STAFF ARE ACTUALLY AT THEIR DESKS
In the age of technology, flexible hours and remote working, assigning a desk to every employee may no longer make sense for your business. Consider how much time your employees spend at their desks and whether an alternative arrangement, such as hot-desking or activity-based working, could work in your office.
For instance, a small office with shared desks and facilities may perform well for a workforce that spends the majority of their workday at consultations or site visits. However, it may stir up feelings of discomfort and negatively impact productivity in a workplace where employees are at their workstation for most of the day.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
Most commercial leases ask that you commit to a minimum term of three years. The cost of early termination can be high, so consider both your current and future space requirements before you make your move.
Thinking about expanding? Ensure you have enough space to accommodate additional resources by adding 10-20% to the total square meterage. Preparing to restructure, automate workflows or outsource business functions? Consider the area you’ll need once you’ve downsized.
First impressions are important. And a reception area is a fantastic way to showcase your brand and the way you do business.
At a minimum, a reception area should be comfortable and hospitable and built proportionally to the type and size of your company. However, you may also have to consider other factors, such as additional furniture, signage, retail displays and branding.
YOUR BRAND VALUES
Whether intentionally or unintentionally, your physical work environment reflects your brand. What’s more, a poorly designed office space can erode feelings of privacy, dampen creativity and reduce productivity.
So, consider whether your workspace inspires you and whether you take pride in welcoming people into it. If not, it may just be time for an upgrade.
HOW YOU WORK BEST
A well-designed office should reflect your brand and how you work. If you want to encourage transparency and collaboration, knock those walls and cubicles down to create an open space that encourages communication amongst staff members. If you’re in need of more privacy, a quiet room option can be considered.
Think about the extra features you require in order to run your business such as:
- Meeting rooms
- Quiet rooms
- Kitchen or break out area
- Areas for plants
- Printing/scanning rooms
- Server rooms
- End-of-trip facilities
Note, a number of Sydney venues offer meeting and event rooms for hire – perfect for hosting offsite meetings, presentations, interviews, conferences and more.
GET THE BALANCE RIGHT
Determining space requirements is challenging for any business. But getting this balance right will help your employees stay productive and efficient and support your business as it grows.