Office Layout Guidelines

When planning the office layout a number of factors need to be considered in order to ensure a safe, healthy, comfortable and productive environment for employees to carry out their work. Here we look at minimum requirements when allocating space.

Access and egress

Guidance to meet disabled access requirements is given in BS8300 and sates that corridors and escape routes should be a minimum of 1.2 meters or 1.8 meters where in a building in which there is likely to be significant use by wheelchair users, for instance a public building. Please note that a minimum width of 1.5 meters is required for 2 wheelchairs to pass each other or for 1 wheelchair to make a full turn.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations states that the minimum space allocated per person should be 11 cubic meters (up to a maximum ceiling height of 3 meters). However this is for unoccupied space and does not include furniture and equipment. Best practice for space planners is 12 - 17m2 of space per person.

Guidance to meet fire regulations is given in BS5588 and states gaps between desks should be a minimum of 600mm for less than ten people to be easily able to move, and 900mm for wheelchair users.

Further Information
Consideration should also given with regards to the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations. The regulations do not give a legal requirement but states that workstations shall be dimensioned and designed so as to provide sufficient space for the operator or user to change position and vary movements. Display screen equipment risk assessment should therefore be completed immediately after any office layout changes to ensure compliance to the regulations.

Office Moves