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Is there a minimum amount of office space you have to allow for per person? For example, with an office of ten people would there be a minimum size the office should be?

The starting point for this answer is to quote the initial rule relating to space. It says:

“(1) Every room where persons work shall have sufficient (my emphasis) floor area, health and unoccupied space for purposes of health, safety and welfare.”

What is “sufficient”? The regulations do lay down a minimum but that is qualified in such a way as to indicate you may need to provide more than the minimum to comply.

The formula is:

“The total volume of the room, when empty, divided by the number of people normally working in it should be at least 11 cubic metres. In making this calculation a room, or part of a room, which is more than 3.0m high should be counted as 3.0m high. The figure of 11 cubic metres per person is a minimum and may be insufficient if, for example, much of the room is taken up by furniture etc.”

In plain English what this means is whilst 11 cubic metres x ten people = 110 cubic metres would appear to be acceptable, you would have to take into account that machinery, desks, filing cabinets etc may in practical terms reduce the space available to the extent that it is unacceptable.

See also: Make the most of your office space

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