Home » Insights » How to calculate your office size and budget

How to calculate your office size and budget

Office space planning can be a complex calculation. It’s not just the work space that needs to be considered, but also the communal areas, meeting rooms or any other amenities that you may need. In this article we discuss the most pertinent questions that you’ll need to answer before deciding on your office space needs and give you the solutions in how to calculate your needs based on your size and budget requirements. 

FLYDESK is now offering the opportunity to calculate your office space requirements more accurately. Using our expertise and our purpose built office space calculator, we can provide you with a guide to the size of space you need and the likely cost. Variables include the number of desks, number of meeting rooms and communal areas.

Please fill out this contact form and we will create a size and cost simulation, bespoke to your requirements.

Estimate your office size

How much capacity do you need per employee?

It’s perhaps the most obvious question, but one of the key determining factors in considering office sizes is the amount of people that you expect or plan to use them. The basic premise is that each employee should have around 100/120 square feet, with the average workstation measuring around 50 square feet. A quick calculation can tell you whether the office you are considering provides enough office space per person and therefore provides them with a comfortable and productive working environment.

Do employees come in every day or do they work remotely?

Assessing your ideal office dimensions and requirements means taking into consideration how often the office space is going to be used. If your team only works in an office space on certain days of the week then it might be worth considering a coworking space which provides greater flexibility and the ability for people to hot desk. If all of your team are based permanently at an office then it might be worth considering something a little bigger to accommodate the employees and their needs. 

You can build your own flexible work model using our flexible work model diagnosis tool. By answering this short survey, FLYDESK can put together a flexible work diagnosis which you can use to generate your own flexible work policy using our free template. You can also consult with FLYDESK to understand your needs and to ascertain how much space you need and to find out what your budget is likely to be.

What common areas do you need?

For some businesses, common areas can be vital in promoting interaction between team members and creating an area where employees can take a break and relax. Others based in urban centers may not feel the need to have a common area as many facilities are right outside the office. When formulating your office space planning ideas, it might be worthwhile discussing with your team as to whether there is demand for a common area.

As an example, the FLYDESK calculator will show you that a densely spaced office in Hong Kong Central can be more expensive than a very spacious office in Tsim Sha Tsui even if all of your other requirements are exactly the same.

Do you need meeting rooms? How big and how many?

This again depends on your type of business. Are you a business that hosts a number of clients or do you engage in meetings remotely? If you do need a meeting room, it’s worth thinking about what meeting room size you need. Some businesses require lots of AV equipment to present to their clients, whereas others will simply need a table and some chairs. One thing to remember is that the average size of a meeting is 3 people, whereas the average size of a meeting room can accommodate 8 people, so some thought should be put into how many meeting rooms you really need.

The pricing model we use for meeting rooms in the FLYDESK calculator is based on the amount of hours you estimate you will need for meetings each month. As the calculator will show you, there can easily be a 5-10% price difference in your total monthly costs if you end up renting too many meeting rooms you are not actually using.

Do you need private call/video booths? How many?

Should your business conduct most of its activity online through Skype or Zoom, it might be worth considering whether you need a private booth for video calls. This enables you to conduct online meetings in relative privacy, particularly if your office is in a coworking space. There are times when you need complete privacy and quiet to speak to clients or colleagues and a private booth offers this opportunity. How many you need depends on how many of your team use Skype, Zoom, Google Meet or a similar tool on a daily basis. If it’s very infrequent then it might be worth planning your office space to create an area of privacy rather than a dedicated booth. 

What other amenities do you need?

When considering your office space requirements, you might also want to think about any other amenities you may need. Does your business require a showroom area? Will your employees require a kitchen area to prepare food and drink? Again, some consultation with your employees may be worthwhile to discover what is needed and to ensure that the environment is suited to your needs.

The FLYDESK calculator lets you choose how spacious you want your office to be, how stylish you want it to be and how much furniture you expect it to have. A fully furnished and spacious office is going to cost a lot more if you want to stay in a central area.

Please use our enquiry form to describe your needs and we will help you to calculate your space requirements.


Estimate your office cost

Do you need to be in a central area / city?

City center prices are inevitably going to be more expensive than somewhere out of town, so you should be asking yourself whether you need that city center location, or could you gain more space by acquiring an office space further away from an urban center? The average size of office space is likely to be more limited in a condensed urban area.

For example, as our calculator will show, an office you’d pay HK$480,000 for in Hong Kong Central can be as low as HK$350,000 in Sheung Wan with the exact same office requirements, even though it is only a short distance away.

Are you looking for a shared office space (coworking space) or your own private office space?

This is a great question when considering space planning for an office. Do you really need separate rooms or is your business and working style more suited to an open plan style layout? Often coworking space can prove to be inspirational as you can bounce off other like-minded businesses. However, certain businesses such as legal or financial prefer private areas to meet with clients and to discuss sensitive issues. Sometimes it’s right for a business to have a mix of both.  

As an example, a ‘floating desk’ arrangement can cost anywhere between US$30 per day to US$350 per month, whereas a private office or office suite can be anywhere between US$350 and US$800 per month in a coworking space.

How to calculate your budget

When considering your ideal office size you’ll also need to consider whether your business can absorb the overheads from your new working space. There are of course a range of different prices available for different budgets, even in the most desirable locations. It’s important to set a budget before you look around, so that you know what you can afford and then base your search around this figure. You can set different price levels at FLYDESK to fit your budget and we can also help you to calculate your budget based on your needs. 

Typical costs of office spaces

According to CBRE, a real estate adviser based in LA, the typical costs of office spaces in some of the world’s most sought after locations in Q1 of 2019 were as follows:

  • Hong Kong = $312 per square foot per year
  • London (West End) = $222.70 per square foot per year
  • New York (Midtown Manhattan) = $196.89 per square foot per year
  • Beijing (CBD) = $117.05 per square foot per year
  • New Delhi (CBD) = $143.97 per square foot per year

So it’s worth bearing in mind where you need to be located in the world and the differences in price before deciding on the size of office that you need.


What should I do next?

Calculating your ideal office size is not an exact science. There are many contributing factors for your business, some personal and some practical. Once you have answered some of the above questions, you may have a better idea of what you need.

Please fill out this contact form and we will create a size and cost simulation, bespoke to your requirements.

Join the flexible work community

Get started with your flexible work journey

Workspace, product or service provider