10.11.20 06:57 PM By Izaac

When touring potential commercial properties for your business, the amount of space you need is one of the biggest considerations. Your space will play a huge part in the way your company operates, but also carries a heavy weight as your business will likely be spending years in the same office.


There are numerous factors that play in to how much space your company needs, whether it is how big your offices will be or what type of shared spaces you will include. Here are some of the key things to think about when considering your company’s future workspace. 

Things to Think About When Envisioning Your Future Office

One of the most exciting parts of starting a business, or watching one grow, is envisioning the workplace that will house your people while they are helping you build. As any successful business owner knows, a company’s success is largely reliant on envisioning its future.


Such is the case when it comes to commercial leases. A commercial lease is a long term commitment. In fact, most landlords require a minimum of at least three to five years for a lease, and some leases may even last up to 20 years.


Because of this, it is imperative that business owners take the time to appropriately plan for the future of their business. Your workplace has a substantial effect on your employees’ well-being, productivity, and the overall success of your business. You have to think about where your employees will work, what that space will look like, and how it might need to change over time.  

What is the right layout for your business?

When it comes to office layouts, there are many considerations. Will your space be office intensive or an open floor plan? Will there be trading and open desks or cubicles? It all depends on what the culture of your company is and your commitment to providing the best possible set-up for your employees to be most productive.


We recommend a solution that incorporates aspects of all types of office layouts. Allow for some parts of the office to have cubicles and private offices, while others have open desks. This allows for the privacy and focused nature of office intensive spaces, but also the positive effects of collaboration in an open floor plan. 

More Than Just Desks, Offices, and Conference Rooms

During your search for a commercial space, it is easy to place the most emphasis on how many desks your space will need, or how the office will be laid out. However, there are other types of office spaces, such as collaboration areas and community spaces that also add life to an office.


For some companies, it may be ideal to find a raw office space and customize it to the unique needs of your business. For others, it may be a better idea to consider Co-working and Space-as-a-Service providers to be your company’s home. In these types of space solutions, companies have access to shared areas, such as breakout areas or phone booths, without having to pay rent on excess space or sign a multi-year lease commitment.

Office Space by Square Footage per Employee

In commercial real estate, the amount of space a company needs is determined by square footage per employee.  This means that business owners must think about how much space each employee needs to be satisfied and productive, which includes not only their work station, but also shared spaces they will utilize.  It also means you mush think about your company's future growth in terms of employees and how that will affect your space.

Square footage is usually broken down into three categories - rentable, usable, and carpetable.  Rentable square footage includes the usable space, plus common areas of the building such as the lobby.  Rentable square footage determines how much you pay in rent.  Usable square footage is the space that you actually occupy, not including common areas.

Carpetable square footage, on the other hand, accounts for the space that will be used for workstations, conference rooms, offices, and amenity areas.  This is considered the most precise square footage,  It accurately accounts for how much space you will need for your employees and is consistent in every city and market.  When figuring how much space your company needs, it is wise to rely on carpetable square footage.

How many offices, desks, cubes, or trading positions are right for your people?

The first step in determining the optimal square footage for your workplace is figuring out how many employees you have, what type of workstation they need, and how much space the appropriate furniture will take up.


When it comes to making these determinations, it takes a team of experts. That team will include your broker, architects, engineers, and even furniture vendors. These professionals will help you think about space in terms of square footage, and how much space furniture, such as desks, will take up in your office space.


For example, a typical private office is 120 carpetable square feet, while a typical trading desk is 36 square feet. As a result, 120 carpetable square feet allows you to house almost four employees. Conversely, this same footprint is used for only one private office. Our team will be able to help you put these numbers together.

Shared or Amenitized Spaces

As previously mentioned, offices are made up of more than cubicles and conference rooms. Most modern day offices include space for breakout sessions, pantries, wellness rooms, phone booths, and break rooms.


If you are truly committed to your employees’ office experience, you may consider more unique amenities, such as gyms, kitchens, private showers, and even golf simulators. These considerations are all part of your workplace strategy and can be further discussed with your broker.


Every real estate search should start with a clearly defined program. Every enterprise, small and large, should take the time early in the process to get a clear understanding of their real estate needs. It is not just a space for people and meeting rooms. 


Start by building a team to work with you on the requirement. If you are a larger user, bringing on a great architect or workplace strategy consultant early in the process is important. Your team should also include key internal stakeholders so there is buy-in and consensus early in the process. In some instances, furniture vendors can also be helpful in thinking about creative ways to utilize space.


If you would like help, input and guidance with working through your space program, or seeking a recommendation for architects, furniture vendors, or workplace strategy consultant, please reach out to a member of our team. 



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