Employees are in a tight squeeze

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 March, 2010, 12:00am

Although it may feel like your colleague's elbow is always nudging your ribs, Hongkongers don't have it too bad when it comes to office space compared with elsewhere in Asia.

The average Hong Kong office worker has 11 square metres, or 118 sqft, to call their own during the work day, according to DTZ. That's about average for Asia, and the same amount of space as you'd get in Seoul. Singapore is also similar, with each employee the master of 116 sqft.

Workers unite on the mainland, as most offices there squeeze in a few extra people per square feet compared with Hong Kong.

Shanghai, for instance, has one employee for every 113 sqft. Chengdu has the most cramped quarters on the mainland, at one employee for every 108 sqft.

Compared with Hong Kong, only Beijing, at one worker per 123 sqft, and Shenzhen, at one worker per 124 sqft, give their workers a little extra room to operate.

But it's on the subcontinent that you'll really get to know your workmates. Indian workers are crammed in the tightest of them all, both for Asia and in global terms.

Delhi packs in more office staff than anywhere else in the world, with an employee for every 71 sqft of office space. Mumbai and Chennai fare a little better and, by Indian standards, Bangalore workers are luxuriating in 87 sqft of space.

Only Bucharest and Moscow, and the cities in South America, join India in shoe-horning workers into less than 100 sqft.

Head to the Malaysian capital if you want that big corner office.

Kuala Lumpur tops the region with the amount of space allowed per employee, at 175 sqft per work station. That's almost 50 per cent more room than you're given in Hong Kong.

After Kuala Lumpur, Australians and New Zealanders luxuriate in the most space. The average office worker in Canberra spreads out over 169 sqft, the most generous quarters in Australasia, with Christchurch just behind at 167 sqft. Auckland, Melbourne, Adelaide, Wellington, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney are not far behind.

Europeans and North Americans generally have the biggest offices, while South Americans generally fare only slightly better than the workers in India.

The Finns have the most spacious work quarters in the world, with every employee in Helsinki spreading out over at least 259 sqft.