The Incredibly Shrinking Office

The economic downturn has forced many companies to question how much space they really need.  As interior architects and designers, we help clients evaluate their real estate requirements.  Smaller spaces are the trend, especially with large companies. A report published by CoreNet Global, Reducing the Portfolio and Maximizing the use of Existing Space, noted the following:

  • 64% of study participants indicated that they would be reducing their portfolio square footages;
  • 25% predict they will remain the same;
  • 11% predict expansion.

In the current market, we’ve seen average office size decrease from approximately 250 square feet  to  175 square feet per person. Some companies are even considering an aggressive 100 square feet per employee.

Many organizations are finding smaller spaces can be just as effective. Well organized work station designs and the use of alternative workplace strategies also help businesses strategically reduce their overall square footage requirement.

Advances in technology give employees the ability to work in more ways than ever before.  Workplace trends show the option to telecommute or work from a remote location continues to grow.  These flexible choices can provide valued benefits including greater work/life balance, lower stress levels, reduced commute time and improved morale.  They also provide the opportunity for businesses to reduce real estate, one of the most expensive fixed costs.

What are you seeing?

I look forward to providing a series of insights about this subject. Stay tuned for my next post, taking a thoughtful approach to measuring space usage.

Ted Heisler, CID, IIDA | Principal, Interior Architecture & Design