Office space required per person


Is there a minimum amount of office space you have to allow for per person? For example, with an office of ten people would there be a minimum size the office should be?

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Is there a minimum amount of office space you have to allow for per person? For example, with an office of ten people would there be a minimum size the office should be?

The starting point for this answer is to quote the initial rule relating to space. It says:

“(1) Every room where persons work shall have sufficient (my emphasis) floor area, health and unoccupied space for purposes of health, safety and welfare.”

What is “sufficient”? The regulations do lay down a minimum but that is qualified in such a way as to indicate you may need to provide more than the minimum to comply.

The formula is:

“The total volume of the room, when empty, divided by the number of people normally working in it should be at least 11 cubic metres. In making this calculation a room, or part of a room, which is more than 3.0m high should be counted as 3.0m high. The figure of 11 cubic metres per person is a minimum and may be insufficient if, for example, much of the room is taken up by furniture etc.”

In plain English what this means is whilst 11 cubic metres x ten people = 110 cubic metres would appear to be acceptable, you would have to take into account that machinery, desks, filing cabinets etc may in practical terms reduce the space available to the extent that it is unacceptable.

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Comments (4)

Anonymous

Hi, a great place to look for office space is sure-space.com, hope this helps

Anonymous

A very long answer to a very short question if you ask me! If you're using a serviced office then you should reckon on 65-75sqft per person. In a conventional office without services you'll probably need more like 120sqft per person because of all the extra things you need to allow for such as reception area, kitchen, meeting room, cleaning cupbaord, server storage, file storage etc etc. If you need a serviced office have a look at www.serviced-offices.biz - loads of information on offices almost everywhere.

Anonymous

Very helpful. thank you. i still have a few concerns about the small office we are building for our administrator.you say "In plain English what this means is whilst 11 cubic x 10 people = 110 cubic metres would appear to be unacceptable metres you would have to take into account that machinery, desks, filing cabinets etc may in practical terms so reduce the space available to the person that it is unacceptable."it is a rather small office, a little under 13 cubic metres with no furniture in it. it has a window looking onto the main foyer and has no ventilation other than the fan i planned to buy him. the office will still need a desk, computer, small filing cabinet, the fan and two chairs put in it. ne for the administrator and one for any clients who need to see him. i am concerned that with all this furniture in the office it will then fall below the required 11 cubic metress. who enforces this rule. if we do it anyway can i expect a visit one day from someone telling me we have to find him a new office. i realise this may sound like i'm not the nicest of people but i am actually concerned about breaching health and safety laws and how to go about reporting such breaches.

Anonymous

As far as I'm aware any Health & Safety guidelines are worked out on sq feet/metres, rather than cubic feet/metres so your 11 cubic metres isn't very helpful. "How high is an office?" is as good as "How long is a piece of string?" If you work on 6.5sqm or 70sqft per person you're well within any guidelines & there are many open plan offices (such as call centres) that probably work closer to 50sqft per person.I don't know exactly where you're looking for offices but try www.serviced-offices.biz which has plenty of suggestions all over the place.