When it comes to offices...size matters.

As a finance or facilities executive knowing how much space you occupy is fundamental to your ability to do your job successfully. The rent that you pay is directly tied to the amount of space that your company occupies and is expressed as dollars per square foot. Other overheads such as taxes and and operating costs can also dependent on the area. Small measurement errors can turn into big costs over the duration of a 10+ year lease.

Once you know this number then you can make accurate comparisons between your costs to those of other buildings, service providers, etc. The problem is few people have this information to hand and even then you need to be sure that you've got the right number, i.e. rentable area vs. usable area, as well as knowing which measurement standard that was used to arrive at it.

In the North American office market there are two measurement standards that you will come across: BOMA 96 and BOMA 2010. There are differences in how they are measured, i.e. what each includes, and you need to know which one that you're using in order to get an apples for apples comparison between candidate buildings if you're in the market for new space. 

The good news is that once you have this information you can know that you're armed with a powerful tool that will allow you to know: whether your existing space is efficient; how it compares to other buildings; that any long term service agreement that you're entering into is based on a real number.

Getting the information is easy. If you're already in leased space then a measured survey should form part of your lease agreement. If you're an owner operator then you need to engage a surveyor such as McElhaney to conduct the survey in accordance with BOMA standards. Once you have the information then you should bring in workplace consultant to look at the numbers to see how it stacks up and help you understand whether the space will continue to work for another 10 years, or if it's one more reason why you should be considering new space.

Space at Work are specialists in designing workplaces. We take the time to understand our client's requirements and by asking the right questions and listening to the responses we provide solutions that incorporate best practices, current and emerging trends to create spaces that are agile, adaptive and ready to accept whatever change is around the corner. Please contact us if you'd like to know more.