Gauging Space When Creating Your Office Layout

The amount of office furniture you can fit into your workspace is heavily dependent on the amount of square footage you have, not to mention the shape and layout of the space itself. It’s important to understand just how much space you’re working with, before you start the process of deploying your office furniture and other items.

This will prevent a lot of headaches, not to mention wasted time and money. It will also allow you to gauge the kind of traffic flow and circulation that normally occurs during the course of a workday. Planning your workplace layout in advance will allow you to take into account how your team works, while optimizing their overall efficiency in the process.



There are many reasons why you should gauge your available workspace, and they should be tied directly to the goals you wish to accomplish. It’s about more than just filling up your workplace with the necessary items and furniture to conduct business. Ideally, you should want to maximize the power of each space, and have it run more smoothly.

For instance, try to identify key items that everybody in the office will use – such as a printer – and place it where employees can all have equal and easy access to it. At the same time, try to keep it from blocking your workspace’s circulation paths so that it doesn’t become a hindrance. The more people who use a particular item, the busier that location will be, so it may be better to place it off to the side where people can congregate without impeding traffic flow. 



It can be difficult to gauge space when it comes to particular office furniture items, but there are some that are basic and straightforward. For instance, desks and chairs are two of the most common furniture items in any workplace, and they take up a large percentage of your space. 

When it comes to chairs, they tend to take up an average footprint of about 40” to 45” inches. From there, you should gauge the amount of space needed to roll the chair back and forth, etc. And finally, note the relation between a workspace chair and the furniture items around it, from desks, to storage cabinets, and filing bins. 

Guest chairs should be allowed to take up more space than what is usually allotted. After all, they will be used primarily for visiting VIPs, clients, new talent, etc. The objective here is to make them feel relaxed and comfortable, rather than claustrophobic. Try to put at least 30” inches between the edge of your desk and the guest chair so that guests can rest easy, stretch out their legs, and have a comfortable conversation with you.

Desks come in all manner of shapes and sizes, but it’s much easier to take their footprint into account. Every desk comes with predefined measurements, and there’s rarely a need to factor in space beyond that. However, it does pay to understand how placement of desks will affect the flow of traffic. Ideally, desks should either be placed against the wall so traffic is not impeded, or used to create medians in the middle of the office floor for traffic to move from both sides. 



These office furniture times can gobble up quite a lot of space, but thankfully, there are many options available. First, always determine exactly how much cabinet and shelf space is needed for things like stationery, books or tech devices. Second, consider the storage space you may need as your company grows, as you may require more down the road. A good suggestion is to invest in modular office furniture cabinets that can be rearranged as needed. You may also buy add-on units at a later date, and stack them against the wall to conserve space. 

In terms of measurements, try to give at least 40” to 50” inches of space for a typical file cabinet. This takes into account the average depth of the cabinet (20” to 25” inches deep) and another 20” to 25” inches  to comfortably open the drawer and access contents. For shelving units, allot about 25” inches of space for the depth of the shelf, and the reach necessary to access items placed on it.



Many offices use whiteboards as effective brainstorming and planning tools on a near-daily basis. Given that many are modular and can be moved around at will, they are less confined to space restrictions than most items. Nevertheless, even a white board on wheels will need ample space in order to be used properly. Try to leave 30” inches in front of the white board for easy navigation and use. If space is tight, try to move the whiteboard to another area of the office and hold meetings there, if possible.



With a bit of pre-planning and some measurements at your side, you can effectively transform your office space with the correct layout. Every workspace is different, and sometimes companies need assistance when it comes to devising the right strategy for an office layout.

If you need help, contact us today. Sensyst is renowned as an industry leader with a keen insight on how to maximize the potential of every single office. We’ll help identify your heaviest areas of traffic, the needs of your employees, and the items they access most during the workday. From there, we’ll build you the perfect office layout that will reap dividends for years to come.