Average Office Size: How Much Office Space Do You Need?

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In today’s dynamic business environment, organizations constantly seek ways to optimize operations and adapt to changing trends. One noteworthy aspect is the average office size, vital in operational efficiency, employee productivity, and financial performance. 

So, how much office space do you need? 

This comprehensive guide will delve into various factors that impact typical office size, discuss average standards per employee, and answer frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision.


  • Average office size refers to the typical amount of space occupied by an office and is essential for operational efficiency and productivity.
  • Standard private offices range from 150 to 350 square feet, cubicles are around 80 to 100 square feet per person, and open-plan workstations allocate approximately 60 square feet per person.
  • Factors to consider when determining office size include the number of employees and the type of work being done.
  • The average office space per employee has decreased from 225 square feet in 2011 to 195 square feet in 2020, indicating a trend toward more flexible workspace solutions.
  • US standards suggest a range of 150-350 square feet for private offices, 60-110 square feet for open-plan workspaces, and 25-50 square feet per person for meeting rooms.
  • Planning for future growth is crucial, and strategies like flexible workstations, remote working, and maximizing vertical space can help accommodate more employees in a smaller area.
  • Determining the ideal office size requires considering various factors, adhering to standards, and planning for future needs.
  • A good office size depends on the number of employees, the type of work, and future growth plans.
  • A small office typically ranges from 500 to 5,000 square feet and should meet the needs of its occupants.
  • The optimal square footage per employee depends on the type of work, ranging from 60-125 sq ft for open-plan layouts to 200-400 sq ft for private offices. Consider job roles, company culture, and facilities when determining the size.

Understanding Average Office Size

The term "average office size" refers to the typical amount of space occupied by an office in terms of square footage. It's a measurement used to understand the standard dimensions of a typical office, which can vary based on factors like industry, company size, hybrid work practices, etc. Understanding a conventional office size is essential for planning or redesigning your workspace as it can provide a helpful benchmark.

While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for determining optimal office dimensions, certain averages have emerged over time:

  • Standard private offices range from 150 to 350 square feet.
  • Cubicles are generally around 80 to 100 square feet per person.
  • Open-plan workstations often allocate approximately 60 square feet per person.

However, these numbers merely provide a starting point as modern offices tend towards more flexible layouts with shared areas like conference rooms or breakout spaces rather than solely relying on traditional set-ups.

To ensure that your workplace effectively fits your organization's needs, it's essential to consider various influencing factors when determining the ideal office size. Let's examine these aspects in detail below.

modern office space

Factors to Consider When Determining Office Size

Various factors play a significant role in helping you decide on the right size of office space that will accommodate your staff comfortably and efficiently. In this section, we’ll discuss two critical considerations: the number of employees and the type of work.

Number of Employees

One of the primary factors influencing your choice of standard office size is the number of employees working in the space. The office area per person ensures they can work effectively without feeling cramped.

According to a report by Cushman & Wakefield, the average office space per employee has decreased from 225 square feet in 2011 to 195 square feet in 2020. This trend showcases how businesses optimize their office space requirements and utilize more flexible workspace solutions.

Type of Work

Another integral aspect to consider when determining your optimal office size is the specific type of work carried out within the space. Different industries and job roles might need different office size standards or configurations. For instance, jobs requiring high levels of collaboration and team interaction may need spacious open-plan areas to facilitate communication.

On the other hand, tasks that demand a higher focus and concentration should provide employees with quieter, more private workspaces. Therefore, businesses functioning primarily in design, programming, or data analysis might allocate a higher average square footage per employee to ensure undisturbed productivity.

Don’t forget about conference rooms and common areas for breaks and relaxation that contribute significantly to employee satisfaction and overall workspace functionality. Consider these spaces when determining your company’s standard office size; they can directly impact employee morale and overall business success.

Average Office Space Per Employee

Determining the average office space per employee is essential in planning a productive work environment. As a business owner or manager, finding the right balance between providing enough space to ensure efficiency and comfort while minimizing overhead costs is crucial. Generally, the average office size per employee varies depending on job roles, industry standards, and personal preferences.

US Standards for Office Space

In the United States, various organizations have established guidelines for estimating the amount of space an individual requires in their working environment. The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) has proposed several benchmarks for office space allocation based on categories such as private offices, open-plan workstations, meeting rooms, or conference spaces.

For instance:

  • Private offices: a standard private office typically ranges from 150 - 350 square feet.
  • Open-plan workspaces: open offices may require less space, approximately 60 - 110 square feet per person.
  • Conferencing and meeting room spaces: standard meeting rooms can range from 25-50 square feet per person.
Workspace Type Square Footage Range
Private Offices 150 - 350 sq. ft.
Open-Plan Workspaces 60 - 110 sq. ft.
Conferencing and Meeting Rooms 25 - 50 sq. ft.


However, these guidelines should not be regarded as a one-size-fits-all solution but rather as a starting point in determining your average office area per person based on your company’s unique needs. When calculating the required square footage, it’s also important to consider additional spaces like breakrooms, storage areas, walls, and corridors.

When evaluating office size standards, other recommendations involve considering regional variations and changing trends in workplace design. For example, according to CoreNet Global’s corporate real estate benchmarking report in recent years:

  • The average overall office density was around 176 square feet per worker across all industries.
  • Commercial landlords suggested that an appropriate range of 100 – 250 square feet was suitable for each employee based on businesses’ requirements.

Considering all these factors enables businesses to determine their average office space per employee, leading to a more efficient and harmonious workspace. In the end, striking the right balance between offering generous spaces for innovation while minimizing costs is critical to ensuring long-term success as your business grows.

Planning for Future Growth

When planning your office layout and determining the average office size, it’s crucial to consider your current needs and the possibility of future growth. As your business expands, you may need to accommodate more employees or incorporate other departments. You can save time and resources by preparing for these changes in advance.

woman working in a hybrid office

How to Get the Most of Your Office Space (No Matter Its Size)

In today's dynamic work environment, maximizing office space utilization is crucial for both efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Space booking solutions with rich workplace analytics capabilities (for example, YAROOMS Workplace Experience Platform) have emerged as invaluable tools for achieving this objective. 

These innovative systems empower organizations of all sizes to maximize their office space. They enhance flexibility, convenience, and productivity by enabling employees to reserve workspaces, meeting rooms, or other resources in advance. Workplace analytics, on the other hand, provide critical insights for facility managers into space usage patterns, helping companies optimize office layouts, reduce underutilized areas, and create an agile, adaptable workplace. 

The value of platforms like YAROOMS extends beyond just cost savings; they foster a collaborative and efficient work environment, making the most of every square foot, whether in a small startup office or a sprawling corporate campus.

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Tips for Accommodating More Employees in a Smaller Space

  • Flexible workstations: Adjustable workstations can better use available office space while adapting to an ever-growing workforce. This involves using easily movable furniture, such as modular desks or shared workspaces, that can be reconfigured according to the changing needs of your team.
  • Embrace remote working: With technological advancements, remote working has become increasingly popular and efficient. Encouraging employees to work remotely, either full-time or part-time, helps you maximize existing office space while offering additional benefits like improved employee satisfaction and reduced overhead costs.
  • Use vertical space: When floor space is limited, consider using tall shelves, wall-mounted storage solutions, and hanging file organizers to take advantage of vertical space within the office environment.
  • Adopt multi-functional spaces: Another way to maximize the typical office size is by creating multi-purpose areas that serve various daily functions—for example, designating a break room that could transform into a workspace when needed or converting a meeting room into an open-concept collaboration area when not in use.
  • Declutter regularly: Keeping your office organized equates to more efficient use of space overall. Schedule regular decluttering sessions for all employees to maintain orderliness and minimize wasted floor area due to unused items or disorganization.
  • Expand upwards rather than outwards: If given the option between leasing additional floors versus increasing square footage on a single level, opt for expanding vertically, as this often comes at a lower cost and encourages better communication between various departments.

Incorporating these strategies while considering your company’s future growth will help you make optimal use of existing office space and prevent the need for frequent, disruptive relocations. By thinking ahead and planning smartly, you can ensure that your average office size stays sufficient as your workforce evolves.

Case Study: How Do You Fit an Expanding Team in a Smaller Office?

Dedalus, a prominent healthcare IT provider with over 40 years of experience, faced a challenge when it relocated its Vienna office to a smaller space at the end of 2021. With a significant increase in team size and limited desk availability, they turned to a hot desking policy. Instead of building a desk booking solution to streamline it internally, Dedalus opted for the ready-to-use space reservation platform provided by YAROOMS.

YAROOMS offered a versatile desk booking system, accommodating various seating strategies and providing an interactive floor map for employees to navigate their workspace visually. The comprehensive workplace analytics section allowed HR teams and facility managers to gain insights into desk utilization, enhancing office organization.

Currently implemented in 10 office locations, managing 1150 spaces and 2300+ users, YAROOMS has enabled Dedalus to efficiently manage space, increase planning predictability, and garner employee support for the new hybrid working style. Dedalus employees use the platform not only for desk bookings but also to coordinate hybrid work planning, fostering a smoother workflow in offices with a higher employee count than available workspaces.

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Determining your business's ideal average office size is not a one-size-fits-all process. It requires a careful assessment of various factors, such as the number of employees, the nature of the work conducted, and future growth plans. By considering these factors and adhering to office size standards, you can create an environment conducive to productivity, collaboration, and innovation.

As businesses evolve, planning for future expansion or reorganization becomes essential. Adopting flexible workspace layouts or innovative interior design solutions can enable companies to accommodate more team members within limited spaces. Embracing this forward-thinking approach might save companies from unnecessary costs associated with frequent relocation or construction upon expansion.

Understanding your unique office space requirements is crucial in providing your team with a comfortable and efficient work environment. The process involves balancing conforming to industry norms for typical office sizes and tailoring these guidelines to suit your organization's needs. By applying due diligence when determining how much office space you need, you'll set yourself and your employees up for success in the modern workplace.

team having a meeting

FAQ: Average Office Size

What Is a Good Size for an Office?

A good size for an office will vary depending on several factors, such as the number of employees, the type of work being conducted, and future growth plans. It’s essential to consider each department’s needs, accessibility requirements, and designated spaces like meeting rooms and break areas when determining the suitable office size.

To define the ideal office size for your organization:

  • Assess individual workspace needs for different roles
  • Allocate ample space for common areas such as kitchens and restrooms
  • Plan for adequate storage and equipment solutions
  • Accommodate flexible and collaborative working environments
  • Factor in a future expansion or organizational changes

By considering these considerations, you can create a productive work environment with an appropriate balance between efficiency and comfort.

What Is Considered a Small Office?

A small office typically refers to a workspace accommodating only a few employees. The specific definition may vary based on industry standards or geographic location; however, generally speaking:

  • Small offices can range in size from 500 – 5,000 square feet.
  • They may house single workers, freelancers, or professionals who share common facilities.
  • Such workspaces could be private offices within more significant buildings or standalone structures.

When defining a “small” office, it’s essential not just to focus on square footage but also on how well the available space meets the needs of its occupants. A thoughtfully designed small office can provide sufficient room for daily tasks while fostering collaboration among team members.

What Is Considered a Small Office?

The optimal amount of square feet needed per employee depends on the nature of work within your organization and desired spatial arrangements. According to U.S. standards:

  • Open plan layouts require approximately 60 – 125 sq ft per employee.
  • Semi-private offices range from 150 – 250 sq ft per person.
  • Private offices may need between 200 – 400 sq ft per individual.

To determine the most suitable office size for your company, it’s crucial to consider factors such as:

  • Job roles and their respective space requirements
  • Company culture and preferred working-style preferences
  • Room allocation for facilities like meeting rooms, storage, and recreational areas

When calculating required square footage per employee, prioritize maintaining a comfortable work environment and encouraging effective communication among team members. Balancing these key aspects helps ensure productivity while maximizing the efficient use of available space.

Topics: Workplace management

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