The Low Down on Startup Office Space

06 Jul

Employees need to have certain personal space in order to achieve optimum productivity, but the varies from business to business and the amount of employees the company has. The position one holds in the company will also determine the space the individual needs. The space that the boss or president moves in should be different from the employees under him, this creates authority and a personal space to discuss important matters. Even though these are just estimates, it is very important to consider the space you will be needing before signing a lease or buying a building.

Even though this might seem rather technical, it does not need to be rocket science. There are certain estimates in relation to the type of business. When you are calculating the amount of space needed, take into account that it would be different for a start up company.

Company Expansion

If it’s a known fact that your company will be expanding within the time of the lease, you should consider adding about 10%-20% of the total space calculated. This is very important because terminating a lease can be very costly and then you will have to move your entire office space.

The space per area will also vary from room to room and whether certain areas for communal use. Let us take a look at the square feet per person in areas of the office:

– Generally you can estimate for 150 to 250 ft per person

  • President’s office – 250 to 400 square ft
  • Vice President- 150 to 250 square ft
  • Executive’s office- 100 to 150 square ft
  • Supervisor or Manager- 80 to 110 square ft
  • Conference Rooms– 25-30 square ft
  • Reception area- 125-200 square ft for 2-4 people
  • Lunch room– 15 square ft per person

Tech Startups

When it comes to the space in a technology startup and you have an open space, you can fit in even more people. It all depends on the layout of the space and the amount of personal space needed. In the case of a start up company there will probably not be a entire team of higher- ups. There will be between one and two bosses, which can have their personal space away from the rest of the team. The other employees of the start up will then be able to work in an open space which will lead to good communication which is needed in the beginning phases of the prospective business.

When you are signing a lease for your office space, be sure to note how much usable space is available. If you plan the space per person according to the total square feet, you might be disappointed to find out that only a certain amount of that space can be used. When you are planning the amount of employees you want to hire, you should also take into account how many parking space is available.

A technology startup will not necessarily need working stations or big conference rooms. The ideal would be to invest in a solid open plan, which can later be changed into compartments if the business evolves and needs different departments. Since the start up will be technology based, you will most likely not need storage space or a logistics department. If you have a few individuals responsible for sales, this might be the only team that really need their personal space and no distractions.  Even though an open space would be ideal, it would help to have a personal relaxation space where employees can escape from the business atmosphere to unwind.


Another thing that should definitely be focused on is the type of employees. Your office space needs to be accommodate disabled persons. If one of your employees are disabled, or in a wheelchair, their space would differ from the other individuals. If you don’t have an open plan area, it is then important that the corridor space takes up between 20-30% of the space.

Not sure exactly how much space you would need? Use this Office Space Calculator to find out. It would also be a good idea to join a Business club or online forums to find out about the latest development, articles and discussions about these and other business related topics.


Read this contributed article submitted by John Badger. John is a guest author at DryLand. DryLand business club is a great firm in London, offering serviced office space.


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