How Much Office Space Do You Really Need in 2023?

Since 2020, the amount of physical workspace a business requires has fluctuated and evolved almost each and every year. So, as we enter 2023, it’s completely fair to ask yourself, “How much office space do I need this year? And what will I need in the years to come?”

Whether your company’s lease is coming up in 2023 or you’re entering the office-space market for the first time, the questions surrounding in-person workplaces remain the same. And, unfortunately for employers, the answer—post-pandemic—has gotten a lot more complicated than it ever was before.

In this article, you’ll learn the traditional ways to calculate the office space you need, advice on how to adjust that calculation for 2023, as well as insight on what the modern employee is looking for in a physical workplace.

The Traditional Ways of Estimating Office Space

A woman sitting at her laptop and working

The standard way of calculating how much square footage you need for an office first requires you to establish a few parameters. These include:

  1. The type of office space you want to offer
    • Bullpen cubicles for junior-level employees
    • Private offices for senior managers and directors
    • Open spaces with hot desking for all levels of employees
    • Multiple meeting rooms, breakrooms, or phone booths
  2. The schedules of your employees
    • A full-time workforce
    • A part-time workforce
    • A combination of the two
  3. Operational goals of your office space
    • Independent work
    • Collaborative meetings
    • A combination of the two

In the past, once you had identified the particulars of the three points above, you would then need to decide on the density of space—rather, the square footage—per employee. 

The average square footage allotted per person in an office environment is a measurement that has varied over the years. In the wake of the pandemic, however, the new “standard” is usually between 150 and 250 square feet per employee. This amount of space would allow for a traditional layout with both open workstations and private offices.

For example, if you decided to allot 150 square feet per individual, you would multiply 150 by the number of employees you anticipated working in your office. So, for 10 full-time team members, you would multiply 150 by 10 to get 1,500 square feet. This is the size of office you would then want to look for.

Ways the Pandemic Altered the Need for Office Space

People working in a shared workspace

Unfortunately, since the pandemic, the standard way of estimating a business’ required office space has become a bit more complicated. 

While much of the above can be used to estimate your office space needs in 2023, there are certainly a few important things to consider as a result of COVID-19.

In-Person Work Is No Longer the Norm

Many employees have demonstrated just how well they can perform their jobs from home. What’s more, remote work allows you to pay less overhead for in-person workspaces. 

Of course, the corporate world seems to be shifting slowly back to a new normal. So, the questions you need to ask yourself are:

  • Will you ever transition to 100 percent remote business operations?
  • Will you allow your team to work a hybrid schedule, partially from home and partially from the office? 
  • Do you need space for your full team, Monday to Friday, or only certain team members at specific times?

Higher Density Office Spaces May Be Required

Companies may also need to account for higher-density workplaces—more space for fewer people—for two major reasons. The main one being for the health and safety of your team. 

Should COVID-19—or another virus—sweep through the population again, social distancing will likely once again become a priority for in-person interactions. More square footage per person means that your office can remain operational, while upholding safety standards and protecting your employees wellbeing.

The second reason for considering more office space per individual comes from people’s need for socialization. With a return to in-person workplaces, many employees are likely to be keen on collaborative, open layouts with plenty of space to connect with one another at the office.

How to Approach Workspaces in 2023

A group of professionals sitting around a table talking and working on their laptops

The option to sign a multi-year, six-figure lease for a workplace specifically for your company remains a valid one. However, the traditional calculation for the amount of space your business needs does not account for many of the new ways of working—such as hybrid schedules. 

With evolving work arrangements and unknown organizational growth, it can certainly seem like a gamble to commit to a long-term office lease. 

So, when deciding how much space you need in 2023, there are some new considerations to keep in mind. 

Calculating Your Office Space Needs in 2023 and Beyond

Rather than looking at your workplace requirements on a strictly square-feet-per-person basis, think about including these variables as well:

  • Modern scheduling: Is your full team in the office all the time? Or are they operating on a hybrid or shift-work schedule? How many people will you have in your workspace at once? When looking at hybrid employees, you’ll want to base your square footage off a three-day work week or a 60% occupancy rate.
  • Wellness considerations: What does your team need to thrive throughout their workdays? Mental health and wellbeing are at the forefront of employee considerations when it comes to morale and retention. It’s important to account for the amenities, tools and space your business can offer to support your team while at the office.
  • Flexibility of space: With so much uncertainty in the professional world, being locked into a large-scale, high-square-footage lease can be a gamble. Can you find something smaller, more flexible and easily adaptable?

Shared Workspaces—A Modern Alternative to Leased Offices

In reality, organizations may not need to spend as much as they think they do in order to have an office for their team. 

Dynamic workspaces like And-Co can offer you fully-appointed furnished suites without tying you into long-term commitments. We provide you and your employees with a modern, vibrant place to work with access to an arrangement of different workstations and collaborative meeting areas.

Imagine welcoming your employees to an office space that feels almost like a hospitality experience—a place they’re excited to come to and collaborate with each other. What’s more, your organization doesn’t have to lift a finger to manage the common areas or amenities. And-Co does that for you.

Shared workplaces also offer you the peace of mind that if your organization grows, you’re not stuck with a space that’s too small—or too large, for that matter. You’ll have the flexibility to evolve your workplace needs alongside the requirements of your company.

Flexible corporate spaces like And-Co provide modern work areas that serve a different role than the traditional office, allowing companies to use their workplace differently. Pay for the space you need now, and know that your office can grow with you.

If you’re in search of a modern, full-service, and flexible workspace for your team, book a tour of And-Co today

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