Studies show that the average American spends 30% of their life working. Despite working remotely and flexing hours, we still spend a significant amount of time at the office! It’s no wonder that owners and managers take the task of finding the right office space so seriously.

As brokers, one of our core services is representing office tenants by finding them the right space. Throughout my career, I’ve assisted local companies as well as large multinational firms, and one of the distinct differences between the two is the clients’ understanding of their actual space needs. Large companies usually benefit from having an in-house facilities team, which may include space planners and the like. But local and regional firms don’t always have that type of infrastructure, so it’s not surprising to hear a client say they don’t know how much space they really need.

That’s why before I ever tour a space or even present a space survey, I make sure the client is looking for the right amount of office space. How do we do this? Below is a helpful step by step process to assist clients in ensuring their new space is not only the right size but also the right configuration.

1. Ask Questions

Engage in a conversation about where the ideal location is for a new office, but more importantly about how the company works. This includes who is in the office and how they like to work. It’s great to include stakeholders from different departments and functions in this conversation.

2. Use the Right Tools

Utilize a comprehensive space calculator. Space calculators are great for helping clients understand how many and what kind of offices or workstations they need. Many times companies think they need more space than they really do—which I believe is usually caused by current and dated space being poorly configured.

3. Seeing is Believing

Engage a space planner or architect to design an ideal floor plan. This design won’t work for every space that’s going to be considered, but it does provide a visual representation of the space calculator and also acts as an “avatar” for the perfect space.

After these three steps are completed, you’ll be ready to begin the big space hunt! Armed with actual data and an understanding of what you really need to search for new space moves the process along much more efficiently. Through effective space planning, companies often realize they don’t need as much space as they thought, meaning they can afford a better location in a higher class of building.