In the office size matters

If you want to check how far you’ve climbed the career ladder, don’t compare your salary with colleagues, just take a look at where you’re sitting.

A survey by recruitment firm Office Angels shows that even in today’s open plan offices, size still matters. Its poll of more than 1,300 managers and employees asked workers to calculate their personal office space.

It revealed that the more junior you are, the more likely you are to sit in the centre of an open plan office with just 12.5sq ft of space to call your own. But, as you move up the career ladder, you may well bag a seat next to a window.

Only when you’re promoted to the board can you look forward to single office occupancy with your name on the door and about 137.6sq ft at your disposal.

By the time you get to be MD, your surroundings are practically palatial, with 196sq ft of space to play with.

More than a third (37%) of employees find their open plan working environment noisy and overcrowded.

The most common complaints include irritating interruptions (78%), food smells (55%), incessant mobile phone calls (47%) and lack of storage space (42%).

One third (35%) criticise the lack of privacy in an open plan environment, while 28% admit to embarrassing blunders due to not knowing who’s who.

Paul Jacobs, managing director of Office Angels said: “It’s human nature to compare what we’ve got with others, and even in an open plan office environment where one desk looks pretty much like the next there are small perks – such as windows or corner seats – that senior people are likely to claim as their own.

“These perks can make all the difference in flat structures where there’s no discernible hierarchy.”

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