When looking for office space, there is one big question you need to answer: “how much office space do I need?” Figuring out how to calculate work space doesn’t have to be a mathematical headache, we’ve got the answers below!
The Workspace Regulations 1992 highlights what the space requirements are for staff working in an office.
“Every room where persons work shall have sufficient floor area, height and unoccupied space for purposes of health, safety and welfare.”
Offices/workspaces should give employees enough room to comfortably work and safely move around.
Microsoft office (source: Glassdoor)
At Microsoft, their offices are open spaced and offers employees plenty of opportunity to move around and work where they want.
As each office is different in layout, height and overall space, it’s difficult to give an exact requirement for how much space an office should have per person.
But, according to HSE, the Health and Safety Executive, they have calculated how much space each person is entitled at work.
Total volume of the workspace divided by the number of employees must be equal to at least 11 cubic meters.
This calculation doesn’t include furniture so you need to add them to your calculations.
How to work out a cubic meter:
Length x width x height = cubic meter
Having an office space that doesn’t offer appropriate working space for your staff can cause major issues. Cramped working conditions can be detrimental to office morale and in extreme cases: employees may decide to leave.
In regards to health and safety, cramped offices are not acceptable. But there are ways for you to make extra working space in your office.
How to increase space in your office
There are tricks and options available if your office doesn’t meet the regulations, such as:
1) Get rid of excess furniture
Have a look at your office. Is there any furniture that you don’t really need? How often do staff use that small meeting table or is that storage cupboard just a waste of space? Remove any excess furniture to help you get more space.
Don’t bin it, sell it. If you have good quality furniture, you can sell it second hand.
Other helpful posts:
- Learn how to keep to your budget and save money whilst moving offices
- How to reduce noise in the office for free
What is your storage situation like? Do you have dozens of filing cabinets or is everything in ‘organised’ piles? Storage can take up a lot of valuable space but you have a number of options to tackle it.
If paper documents are a main issue, consider moving it all online. Many companies have everything online now. Paper copies can be printed when they’re actually needed.
Office site business storage is very handy for storing your important files and equipment elsewhere.
3) Hot desking
Hot desking describes a workplace model where desks outnumber employees. This invites employees to move around and work in different locations.
Whilst there are pros to hot desking, like freeing additional space, there are some cons to be aware of: staff don’t have access to a personal working area, moving around means more distractions and they can spark hygiene issues when multiple people are using the same keyboard.
4) Have less people in the office
If you’re struggling for space in your office then you should consider having less people in the office. Are there any employees who can work from home? You can get some employees to work in the office on select days.
5) Get a new office design
You can use your office space more effectively if you redesign. Moving seating arrangements and reorganising your office layout can help you get the best out of your space.
Getting a consultation and assistance from an office design company, means you can use your space more effectively instead of having to move to a new location.
6) Move to a new office
As your business grows in the number of employees and you run out of space, you need to consider moving to a bigger workspace. As the Workplace Regulations 1992 states you need to give ‘sufficient space’ to your staff. Otherwise you could face complaints from your staff and see an increasing number of resignations.
When buying a new office, ensure the space is appropriate for your staff. If you’re hoping to increase the number of employees in the future, then it might be easier to find a bigger office now, rather than having to upgrade on a regular basis.
Get the perfect office for your business
At Elm Workspace we’ve worked with many different types of businesses. We’re an all-in-one office company, we can help you move, design your new office and fit it out.