When it Comes to Office Space, How Much is Enough?

Palagon Office Space

For many Vancouver businesses, the pandemic put the brakes on any plans of renting new offices as employers had to pivot to work-from-home models quickly. Amidst widespread lockdowns, flexible working arrangements became commonplace; however, these changes were only ever meant to be temporary.


According to a recent Microsoft survey, which included more than 31,000 employers globally, 50% of company leaders are ready to resume—or have already resumed—full-time in-person operations. And while a return to full-time in-person operations may prove to be a challenge in some industries, close to half of the employees support some form of hybrid work-from-home model. This has proved to be especially true for businesses requiring high levels of collaboration and communication.


The good news for businesses searching for more office space is we are currently a renter’s market. Office space available for rent in Vancouver’s high-demand areas is near historic highs. So, whether you are looking to shed space to make way for increased remote work opportunities or need to add more space to accommodate returning employees, you’ll have your choice of prime office real estate.


But how much office space is enough?


Managing Your Office Space


Next to salaries, office space leases are often a company’s most significant expense. This puts a lot of pressure on business owners to weigh their current needs with future growth carefully. Here are a few things to consider to help get you into the right-sized office space.


What is the Nature of Your Business?


Your industry could have a dramatic impact on your office space needs. For example, law firms, where privacy is paramount, often require several closed offices in addition to large conference rooms. In this type of setup, 70 to 120 square feet per employee is pretty standard.


On the other hand, a tech start-up typically comprises fewer offices and more open-plan workspace—industry averages for this type of dense working environment range from 30 to 70 square feet per employee.


What Growth Stage is Your Business In?


If your company is in the midst of rapid post-pandemic expansion, you may want to rent more space than your current size would otherwise warrant—prematurely breaking a lease can be costly.


Experts suggest renting up to 20% more space than you need if you are a growing business, but this number could be impacted by the type of positions you anticipate hiring for. Executives, for example, typically require private offices and more space than entry-level or administrative staff.


What Proportion of Your Employees Will be Returning to In-Person Work?


Flexible work arrangements are a hot topic right now, with many employers looking to get staff back to in-person work full-time and many employees pushing for hybrid work alternatives. Identifying the model that works for your business before you start looking for office space to rent in Vancouver will allow you to choose an office space that makes sense for your business.


Practices like hot-desking (no assigned seating) and increased communal working areas have become popular for Vancouver businesses adapting to a hybrid model. Not only does this setup encourage increased employee collaboration and social interaction, but it also helps reduce under-utilized space, which in turn, can significantly reduce the amount of office space you need and your rental costs. However, shared desks and co-working solutions come with their own share of problems. Compared to private offices, there is little privacy. Loud sounds, frequent interruptions and uncertain seating plans are common issues. In addition, these do not instill confidence because they are not seen as professional by the public.


Setting Up Private Office in Vancouver


Critically evaluating your current and future office space needs can help you choose a rental that provides the flexibility you need with the growth opportunity you want. Still unsure about office space for rent in Vancouver? Our team would be happy to answer any questions and help you find the perfect office space to serve your office needs.