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How Much Office Space Do You Need Per Employee?


By Amit Prasad on May 25, 2023

As companies adapt to new ways of working and businesses reopen their doors after the pandemic, the question of how much office space is needed per employee has become more critical. While traditional office space norms typically allow for approximately 100 to 250 square feet per employee, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for greater flexibility and consideration of factors like physical distancing. So, how much office space do you need per employee? Let’s explore some key factors to consider when making this critical decision.

Understanding the Average Office Space per Employee

Understanding the average office space per employee is essential for companies looking to optimize their workspace. Over the past decade, the average office space per employee has decreased due to the shift towards open-plan offices and collaborative workspaces.

According to a recent study by commercial real estate firm CBRE, the average office space per employee in the United States is around 194 square feet, down from 225 square feet in 2010. However, the middle office space per employee can vary significantly depending on the industry and location.

The average office space per employee ranges from 100 to 300 square feet. However, this can vary depending on the industry and the type of work being performed. For example, a call center may require less space per employee than a creative agency needing more room for collaborative work. When determining how much space to allocate, it’s essential to consider the needs of your employees and the tasks they perform daily.

However, in light of current circumstances, employers are now prioritizing an appropriate physical distance between workspaces, increasing the average office space per employee. While there are general recommendations to consider, determining the proper amount of office space to allocate ultimately depends on your company’s and workforce’s unique needs and requirements.

Office Space for Physical Distancing and Collaboration

Allocating office space with physical distancing in mind is an important consideration to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, in the workplace. Here are some tips to help you allocate office space with physical distancing in mind:

Reconfigure the layout

Consider reconfiguring your office layout to allow for more space between employees. It may involve moving workstations further apart or reorganizing the furniture to create more open space.

Use barriers

Use barriers such as plexiglass or acrylic shields to help separate workspaces and reduce the risk of transmission.

Stagger work schedules

Consider staggering work schedules to reduce the number of employees in the office at one time. This may involve rotating shifts or allowing employees to work from home on certain days.

Limit capacity

Limit the number of employees in the office at any given time to allow for physical distancing. You should implement a system for scheduling office use or limiting the number of employees in some regions of the office.

Encourage remote work

Encourage employees who can work from home. It reduces the number of people in the office and makes physical distancing easier.

Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Provide employees with PPE such as masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer to help reduce the risk of transmission.

By implementing these measures, you can help create a safe and healthy work environment that supports physical distancing and helps prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Beyond Physical Distancing: Key Office Space Requirements to Consider

Let’s explore several other office space requirements to create a productive and safe working environment:


Appropriate lighting can reduce eye strain, increase productivity, and boost morale. Natural light is ideal, but artificial lighting that simulates natural light can be used if that’s not feasible.

Noise Control

Excessive noise levels can distract and affect employee concentration and productivity. Sound-absorbing materials, such as acoustic ceiling tiles, carpets, or partitions, can help reduce noise levels in the office.


Proper ventilation is crucial to maintaining good indoor air quality and minimizing the risk of airborne illnesses. HVAC systems should be adequately maintained and meet industry air filtration and circulation standards.


Office furniture and equipment should be ergonomically designed to reduce strain and injury caused by prolonged sitting and repetitive movements. Adjustable desks, chairs, and computer monitors can help employees maintain a comfortable and healthy posture.


Access to restrooms, break rooms, and kitchen facilities is vital to employee comfort and satisfaction. Additionally, fitness centers or outdoor spaces can improve employee well-being and promote a healthy work-life balance.

Overall, in recent years, the purpose of office space has shifted from a place to work to an area that fosters collaboration, innovation, and employee well-being. This can include flexible workspaces, ergonomic furniture, and amenities such as fitness centers or on-site cafes. Companies can improve employee satisfaction and productivity by providing a comfortable and welcoming environment.

Revolutionize Your Office Space Planning with QuickFMS

We are the right solution for all your needs if you are looking for help with office space planning. QuickFMS offers innovative office space management software to support office space planning, allowing companies to visualize and optimize their office layout efficiently.

With easy scheduling of workstations, meeting rooms, and other facilities, the software ensures smooth operations and real-time monitoring of occupancy levels to comply with physical distancing guidelines. The software’s ability to generate reports on office space utilization also helps organizations identify areas for improvement, making it an indispensable tool for optimizing office space.

Schedule a free demo of QuickFMS Office space management software now!

average office space per employee


Content Source: CBRE