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How to Measure an Office Space for New Furniture

Whether you’re moving into a new environment or giving your existing workspace a refresh, ordering new office furniture is both exciting and daunting. It feels like there are endless options out there—especially if you’re considering designing custom office furniture.

Before you start placing orders, however, it’s essential to know your office space measurements so the new furniture you have your eye on doesn’t end up awkwardly placed within your workspace. We’ve put together a guide that will walk you through how to measure your office space for new furniture.

How to Calculate Office Square Footage

Having an overview of your office workspace dimensions will make designing your new layout a breeze. Make sure you have a notebook, a calculator, and a tape measure handy, then follow these tips to calculate your office’s square footage.

Tip #1. Tackle one room at a time. Start by counting how many different rooms or areas you need to measure and denote a page in your notebook for each.

Tip #2. If the room is a quadrilateral shape (such as a rectangle or square), measure the length of one wall and the width of the one adjacent to it in feet, then multiply the two figures to calculate the square footage of that room.  Square footage is important for pricing and ordering carpeting, budgeting office furniture expense per square foot, determining space expense per employee, calculating cost and revenue per square foot of office space occupied, and more.

Tip #3. What you really need to know to correctly order office furniture is the total dimensions of a room and how the furniture will fit in that space.  Use graph paper or software to draw your walls.  Don’t forget to add doorways and windows.  Using the same scale, drop in drawings of desks, chairs, and conference tables to see how they fit.  You don’t want to order a 16’ conference table for a 14’ room. 

Tip #3. For triangular rooms, measure the length of the longest wall and the height of the room, then multiply them. Divide that figure by two to calculate the room’s square footage.

Tip #4. Make sure to note wall fixtures that should not be blocked by furniture, such as outlets, thermostats, fire extinguishers, or columns.  Leave a few inches of space behind furniture that is against a wall so that you can access outlets without moving heavy, fully-loaded furniture.

Tip #5. When measuring ceiling height, note any obstacles such as ducts, sprinklers, or light fixtures.

Tip #6. Always include walkways and doorways in your measurements. These are the most heavily trafficked areas in an office, and you and your coworkers shouldn’t have to awkwardly shimmy around a desk or cabinet to access them.  Leave enough room around desks and conference tables so that a wheelchair can easily pass through.

Office Furniture Dimensions Guide: How to Choose The Right Fit The First Time

Along with your office space measurements, you’ll need to know the dimensions of the furniture you’re interested in purchasing. While this seems simple on the surface, you’ll also need to consider any additional space the furniture will need—for instance, you’ll need extra room to open drawers or cabinet doors.

There are three measurements to consider when calculating the space a piece of furniture will take up: width, height, and depth.

  • Width (W): the measurement of the item from one side to the other
  • Height: (H): the measurement of the item from the floor (if freestanding) to the very top of the product
  • Depth (D): the measurement of the item from front to back

As mentioned earlier, you should add a buffer in your calculation if there are any doors or drawers on the furniture. You can calculate the space you’ll need by measuring the width and depth of drawers and the width of cabinet doors. Hopefully this guide helped you understand how to measure an office space for new furniture. To recap, you should start by calculating your office space measurements (including where fixtures, walkways, and doorways are located) and noting the dimensions of the furniture you hope to purchase. With this information, the only thing left to do is plan where each piece will fit best.

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