When it comes to office space, OSHA does not set any specific requirements. However, it is important to ensure that employees have enough space to enter and exit the workspace comfortably and safely. A good rule of thumb is to keep at least three feet between desks and at least 50 square feet between employees. Additionally, it is important to consider the fire code and occupancy laws when determining the amount of space needed.
Occupancy laws are based on square footage, but they also take into account the number of exits. For example, even if you have enough square footage for 200 employees, if there is only one exit, the number of legal occupancy will be reduced to 50 or less. It is important to check with the fire chief to determine the exact number of people who may be in a space. Before COVID-19, vendors and consultants were traveling more frequently, so they generally needed less office space. However, it is important to consider how much space is too little when it comes to office space.
Determining if there are legal regulations for an employee's area is the first step in deciding if there is enough space available for the required number of employees. Some employees, such as lawyers and top management, will need closed office spaces where they can hold private conversations and perhaps consult with clients face to face. This includes the space dedicated to the desk and the space that surrounds it, as well as meeting rooms and common areas. Houston Installation Services has been helping companies with office space planning and office relocation for more than 35 years. In previous years, workplace design studies concluded that the average office space per employee was 75 to 150 square feet, according to JLL.
Designing an office space requires balancing the desire of employees to have enough space to be productive and comfortable at work, while also keeping costs low. In addition, understanding reasonable space is accompanied by additional laws that could affect the amount of space available to employees. If you want more detailed recommendations, Office Finder has an office space calculator and guidelines for the types of common spaces. For this new model to be effective, workplace leaders must consider how often employees use available spaces and the primary purpose of those spaces. Common areas such as lobbies, hallways and bathrooms will take up 10% to 20% more of the square footage of the office, while corridors and circulation within the space will take up an additional 25 to 35%.
In addition to considering health and safety when deciding how much office space you need per employee, you'll also need to pay attention to other emerging trends. Even with such a small space, the average office space in American companies is around 150 square feet and is shrinking. While there are some guidelines you can follow, the decision of how much office space to allocate depends on your company and the needs of your staff.