How many square meters of office space do you actually need?
The world of work – and how it works – has been evolving for quite a few years now. And the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 further accelerated the transformation of how we live and work. After more than a year of total or partial teleworking for those lucky enough to do so, the trek back to the office has begun. However, many workers are still sceptical about returning to the office full-time. As we discussed in a previous FOCUS , the office of tomorrow will have to change if it is going to attract workers back to their workplace. But how many square meters do you really need for your business and for each employee?
Answering this question correctly is important in terms of safety (the law stipulates that work premises must be of a sufficient size to allow workers to perform their tasks without any risk to their health or safety) and employee productivity. Correctly estimating the amount of space suitable for each person means you can ensure the enhanced well-being of all your employees.
A workspace ideally suited to new ways of working
Workers in today's flexible – or 'liberated' – companies have adopted a more 'nomadic' way of working. These nomads are always on the move, compared to just 10 years ago when it was the norm for workers to spend all day in the same office without moving around at all. As an employer, it's important for you to keep this trend in mind – regardless of how things work in your business.
In a company where workspaces are considered quiet and uncrowded, each worker must have at least 11 square metres. It should be noted that in such spaces, which are conducive to concentration, the standard is no more than five workers. Conversely, in a collective space that is by definition noisy, such as an open-plan office, you should count on 15 square metres on average per worker. Failure to comply with these minimum space requirements can lead not only to a drop in employee productivity, but also to a lower level of guaranteed safety within your building.
Overcrowding within the building leads to lower levels of health and physical security. For example, having 50 people working in a space intended for 25 people is dangerous to all employees. Workers must be separated by at least one meter (4 m2) and must be able to move easily and quickly. Proper compliance with minimum space requirements will also ensure greater health and physical security for your employees.
In addition, depending on your activity, the right workspace is essential. It must be suited to your daily requirements: Are you likely to receive customers frequently? Are your employees often in the field? and so on. But above all, the workspace must be able to evolve as your business grows over the years. It is critically important to set up a workspace that will be able to cope with the arrival of new workers (whether permanent or trainees) in the months and years ahead. Plan ahead and always opt for extra space, where possible.
Growners –your key partner for choosing the perfect office
At Growners, we sell and rent all types of buildings. We provide custom workspaces ranging from 100 to 8,500 m2, meeting the needs of both youthful startups and well-established companies.
If you're a manager who wants to learn more about the ideal office size for your business and your employees, then feel free to contact Growners. Our experts will be happy to answer your questions and support you in your projects.