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What Are Space Standards for Office Design?

What Are Space Standards for Office Design?

|May 13, 2021

Before focusing on your office design, renovation, or relocation, it’s essential to know how much space you need per employee. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t dictate strict requirements for office spaces, meaning that you have more flexibility. However, this also means that it’s up to you to design your office space efficiently.

This article describes the space standards for office design, including how much office space you need, workstation size guidelines, and design objectives to consider when planning your workplace.

How Much Office Space Do You Need?

There isn’t a simple answer to this simple question because answering it entails dealing with many things. Some of these aspects include:

Work Nature

If your workforce spends most of its time on field assignments, site visits, consultations, and meetings, you can manage with a smaller office space. However, office workers that usually perform their job at their workspace might feel constrained if they have a smaller space.

Work Nature

Cultural Aspects

These can influence a person’s perception of adequate space. For North Americans, personal space is an essential factor, but some countries with dense populations might be comfortable with a much smaller place. This aspect can cause issues in multicultural countries like Canada.

Cultural Aspects

Corporate Climate

Comparisons can also influence personal space perception. Employees in a corporate climate accept that people in managerial positions have larger offices. However, if their workstation size isn’t the same as their peers, they might feel it’s too tiny regardless of its actual dimensions.

Anthropometry (Body Dimensions)

Standard office space dimensions depend on the size and shape of employees as it has to accommodate them. It needs to allow them to move safely and complete their jobs effectively.

Anthropometry (Body Dimensions)

Office Workstation Size Guidelines

All office spaces should be able to accommodate visitors whenever it’s necessary without restricting movement. Still, allocating working space for offices and workplaces is incredibly complex. There isn’t a standard that fits every work type situation. Most guidelines only list general requirements. Here are some ranges for reference:

  •    72” x 126”: Office where two workers can meet with a table between them.

  •    72” x 84”: Office with a primary desk and secondary surface like a filing cabinet.

  •    130” x 123”: Executive office where three to four people can meet around a desk

  •    52” x 72”: Typical workstation size. Common in call centers.

When designing an office space for any worker, there are many aspects you should consider unless you only wish to meet the minimum requirements for an office space. Some of these aspects are working height, reach, movement within the workspace, safety, tasks the worker has to perform, size of the work surface, and many more.

Space Design Objectives

Well-designed space standards for offices can positively affect employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention. They can also encourage collaboration and innovation among workers and make an excellent impression on visiting clients or associates. Another benefit of good office design is improved employee motivation.

Space Design Objectives

The workplace should be a flexible environment that can smoothly integrate technology, safety, comfort, and energy efficiency if you want a productive, aesthetically pleasing, and cost-effective workplace. Some typical requirements for office space planning standards include the following design objectives:


An office space should have accessible routes that can accommodate people with various disabilities. You need to place all office furniture at least 32 inches away from walls and other obstructions. Keeping a 60-inch clearance is also necessary to allow wheelchairs to rotate and turn around corners.

Try to accommodate different employee needs by using standing desks and adjustable work surfaces and countertops. Desks should be between 24 and 36 inches high, and employees shouldn’t have to reach lower than 16 inches or higher than 48 inches.


When planning and designing standard office dimensions, try to create a space where people would like to work. Having pleasing aesthetics is vital to a workplace’s morale and productivity. The office space should also be able to accommodate workflow or general use changes.


Look up some top office design trends and find out one that lets you create a safe and inviting environment. Furniture, decorations, and finishes should reflect your company’s work nature and provide a comfortable and supportive setting. You can encourage your employees to customize their space, but remind them to remove clutter to reduce distractions and hazards.


Implement efficient lighting and technology to reduce your company’s operating expenses. Create effective energy-saving policies for your workplace’s equipment and technology, like turning every non-essential equipment off at night.

Insulating your office space is also another excellent idea. It can reduce heating and cooling costs while further improving the office environment. Scheduling regular maintenance for your workplace’s equipment and systems enhances their lifespan and minimizes replacement expenses.


It’s vital to plan for acoustic separation in an office. Use acoustical ceilings with a noise reduction coefficient of 0.7 and office furniture with sound-absorbing surfaces on their sides. Lighting fixtures can reflect sound to adjacent cubicles, so avoid placing them over dividers.


An office’s ergonomics can also significantly impact its employees’ productivity and well-being. Improve it by investing in well-designed ergonomic office chairs that can comfortably fit each person. You can easily get these ergonomic solutions at a competitive price by purchasing wholesale office furniture.


If you want to have good space standards for offices, consider technological OSHA office space requirements during their design process. It’s crucial to anticipate future necessities as well. Consider where you need to place essential technology or appliances to make them readily accessible without negatively impacting your workplace’s aesthetic.

For offices that employ flexible work arrangements, implementing technology like a hybrid working app can significantly increase your workforce’s productivity while keeping things tidy. Optimize your workplace for different scenarios and maximize flexibility.


It’s essential to take your employees’ health, safety, and comfort into consideration. Design your workplace with plenty of fresh air ventilation, air quality monitoring, and window access. Providing your employees with opportunities to interact with their peers can also increase their comfort and mental health.


Remember to implement adequate security measures. It can reduce instances of lost property and potential threats. Some examples are electronic entry security codes, surveillance cameras, lockable offices, and cybersecurity.

It’s important to consider the space standards for offices while planning your ideal workplace. There are many design objectives you need to take into consideration while designing it, but implementing them can make your office productive, comfortable, and cost-effective

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