In this post, we help give entrepreneurs an idea of how to calculate office space by using the Keyser iPhone app to reverse engineer the Square Headquarters in San Francisco.
Using information we gathered from a variety of articles about the Square headquarters, this post roughly breaks down their estimated square footage needs as it relates to their office space.
First, here’s a few pieces of information about Square that will help us estimate their office space needs.
Required working environments:
– 1 CEO (Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder of Square & Twitter)
– 889 employees across several departments ranging from information technology to product development (San Francisco only).
Linkedin Employee Breakdown of Square:
– 889 employees (employees have mentioned on Quora that there were 250 employees in March 2012 and 600 employees in November 2013. Since the company is rapidly growing and there isn’t a recent employee count, we’ve taken Square’s Linkedin’s employee estimates from just the San Francisco area. We’ve also created an “other” category for employees that are uncategorized).
– Information Technology = 175
– Engineering = 84
– Sales = 64
– Product = 53
– Business Development = 33
– Creative = 33
– Operations = 25
– Human Resources = 23
– Other = 398 (the difference between the employee count and the Linkedin estimate)
In this Fast Company article, Chris Gorman, Square’s head of office experience made sure the space would allow actual employee interactions to occur.
“We were very inspired by city design and by cities in general—by areas where people cohabitate, come together, and share things in a quick and easy manner,” Gorman says. “We wanted to bring that same sensibility to the office.”
– Want the office to feel like a small city with intersections that cause people to interact in casual, unscheduled ways
– Want the office to have an open working environment
– Want the same variety of a city in the office – where employees walk, congregate, get coffee, relax and get stuff done.
Office Space Assumptions:
Here’s where we’ll make some major assumptions for the sake of getting a rough square footage estimate from the iPhone app.
: Let’s assume co-founder + CEO Jack Dorsey has a large C-Suite office, and that the estimated 25 other VP or C-Level Square executives enjoy Executive Sized offices.
: The engineers and product teams work collaboratively, so let’s assume 4 employees for every Large office space. 84 engineers and 53 product development employees with 4 team members per space would equal 34 large offices.
: Square is built on it’s information technology and it’s competing against Google, Facebook and Silicon Valley to attract the right talent. Let’s assume Square offers IT people the enjoyment of the equivalent of a small office space (100 square feet). With 175 IT employees, we’ll allocate 175 “small offices” or 17,500 square feet of office space to information technology.
: Let’s assume that each business development and operations employee needs a little privacy and quiet to do their job effectively. We’ll allocate standard office space for the 25 employees in operations and the 33 biz dev employees.
: Since Square has a beautiful, clean look to it’s product and marketing, let’s assume the Creative team (33 employees total) have their own medium sized offices.
That’s about it for our office space assumptions. Let’s move on to our workstation assumptions based on the Square employee breakdown.
Total Office Space Square Footage: 46,558
With our office space assumptions, we made rough square footage estimates based on the Square engineering, product, information technology, executive level, creative, operations and biz dev teams. This leaves us with the sales, human resources, and “other” departments to calculate office space requirements.
: Let’s assume that Sales needs privacy to conduct their calls, and all 64 sales people have their own small cube.
: Let’s assume that all 23 Human Resources professionals will occupy medium sized cubes.
: All “other” employees – minus the 25 executives we accounted for in the executive office spaces – will on average occupy large cube spaces. This estimate accounts for the “other” employees who may occupy a larger space, and those who may occupy a smaller space.
That’s about it for our workstation and office space assumptions. Next up on our office space calculation is conference and training rooms – a big priority for Square given epic Jack Dorsey speeches.
Total Workstation Square Footage: 25,660
Conference + Training Room Calculation
Judging by the photos, Square has multiple conference rooms and a very large event space. Let’s assume that three of the conference rooms are “large” (Seats 16-20 people), three of them are “medium” (seats 8-10 people) and six of the conference rooms are “small” (seats 4-6).
As for the event space, it looks like the area seats 100 people. Using the Keyser iPhone app, we’d input (4) in the large training room space given that each “large training room” seats about 28 people.
Total Conference + Training Room Space: 12,475 Square Feet
It seem as if Square headquarters has two receptionists that greet visitors. In looking at the diagrams within the Keyser app and comparing them to the Square pictures, we’ll allocate one large reception area and two small reception areas for visitors.
Total Reception Area Space: 825 square feet
Copy + Storage Rooms
Warning: we got a little carried away in this planning section.
Let’s start with the easy assumptions: one large and one small copy room space for every 100 employees would equate to about 9 large and 9 small copy rooms throughout the headquarters.
Now, the storage closet.
A couple weeks ago we received an email from Square saying that they processed $100,000,000 in one day.
This got us thinking…”If they process $100M in a day, how many of those little Square payment processors would they need to serve their customers?”
To find out how many customers Square has (and how many storage closets we should plan for), we can do the following:
By dividing their annual amount processed in 2012 ($6B, according to this article) by 365 days, we find that Square processed an average of $16M+ per day in 2012. By dividing this average with the amount they recently processed in 2014 ($100M), we find that they’ve grown 6x since they hit 2M users in 2012.
Assuming that the average amount a customer processes stays the same, let’s assume they’re at 12M users now. Let’s also assume they need one storage closet for every 10,000 customers (those Square payment processors are pretty small), and we come to the conclusion that Square needs about space to fit 1,200+ storage closets.
Told you we got a little carried away to calculate 10,950 square feet of office space.
As we can see from the photos, Square has invested significant resources in their employee areas. A coffee bar in the middle acts as a sort of “town square” with multiple large break room sized areas for employees to grab a bite to eat. Several wellness pods provide an escape down the large “avenues” of hallways.
To account for this space in the Keyser office space calculator, we’ve estimated that the Square coffee bars are about 16 times the size of a regular coffee bar. For break rooms, we’ll assume rough estimates of one “large break room” for every 100 employees (large break rooms seat 20) and a “standard break room” of one for every 40 employees (standard break rooms seat 8). Since there are so many lounge areas throughout the office, these break rooms will cover this space.
As for wellness rooms, it looks like there are about seven of these spaces included in the building. For the large library, we’ll estimate that we’ll need about 3,000 square feet.
Let’s input these estimates into the app.
Processing the amounts of money that Square does – and judging by how seriously they take security – let’s assume Square servers are stored outside of the office in some undisclosed location that requires voice recognition for access. –
Let’s allocate two large server rooms for the needs of Square employees. And, let’s assume Square operates in the cloud and has no need for a file room.
Submit and Calculate Totals
Based on our office space assumptions and estimates, it’s time to submit and calculate the Square office space needs in terms of square footage. The Keyser iPhone app will automatically calculate hallways circulation square footage, as well as load factor, usable space and the total amount of rentable square feet. This calculation is especially useful to help narrow down your office space search.
Without further ado, here is our reversed engineered calculation of the Square headquarters: 174,806 Square Feet.
[Photos By Matthew Millman ]
[Articles Referenced]: Fast Company; Office Lovin’;
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