How much office space do my employees need?

Are you planning on expanding your office space? Will you soon need to house extra employees? Replace fixed workspaces with flexible ones? How much should you provide so that everyone can work comfortably?

Minimum 8 m2 per person

In the Netherlands, the standard office space has been determined at minimum 8 m2 per person. The Dutch Standardisation Institute (NEN or Nederlands Normalisatie-instituut) defines how they arrived at this measurement:

  • 4 m2 per workstation that is normally used for longer than 2 hours per day (chair and circulation space around the chair)
  • 1 m2 for a workstation with a flatscreen
  • 2 m2 for a workstation with a traditional monitor (CRT)
  • 1 m2 for reading and writing surface
  • 2 m2 surface on which to lay plans
  • 1 m2 for each cabinet or chest of drawers

For conference rooms, they recommend a minimum surface area of 2 m2 per person.

Calculate your own Flexplek (flexible office space)

What’s useful about the calculation method of the Nederlands Normalisatie-instituut is that it allows you to calculate for yourself the minimum amount of space that you need for flexible office spaces that are different from the regular fixed workstation. Do you need workstations with just a chair and a flatscreen? Then 5 m2 is enough. Or are you using traditional monitors (CRT) and do your employees also need a reading and writing surface and a cabinet? Then you need a minimum of 8 m2 per workstation.

Do you need room for 6 flexible office spaces and a conference room?

  • 6 x 4 m2 for the workstations
  • 6 x 1 m2 for the flatscreens
  • 6 x 1 m2 for the reading and writing surfaces
  • 2 x 1 m2 for the cabinet space
  • 10 x 2 m2 for a conference room for maximum 10 people

Total surface area: 58 m2.

Enough room to manoeuvre

Workstations are one thing but from time to time people also need to get to and from their desks. That is also important for safety. There always needs to be an evacuation route at least 80 cm wide.

For comfortable passage it is best to take the following measurements into account:

  • 90 cm for passage for one person,
  • 120 cm for passage with regular traffic in two directions,
  • 90 cm space behind each desk up to the wall or cabinet.

Provide comfort

Working comfort is not just a matter of surfaces. The arrangement of space is also important. Here are some tips:

  • Place the desk perpendicular to the window.
  • Avoid doors or coworkers positioned facing someone’s back.
  • Provide a feeling of comfort by installing an office table in empty spaces.
  • Create enough distance to ventilation grids and air flows.

Do you want to arrange your new workspaces optimally? At Bruneau you can choose from a wide range of office furniture and storage systems.

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