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Joel Spolsky’s Bionic Office

In the latest installment of Joel on Software, Joel talks about his new office.

I like a lot of what he’s done with it. It’s largely the kind of space I’d design. I might or might not have private offices, now that I’m starting to buy into XP more, but I definitely like a lot of what I see.

This amused me, though:

The monthly rent for our offices, when fully occupied, will run about $700 per employee. The build-out was done on budget and paid for almost entirely by the landlord. I suspect that $700 per person is on the high side for software developers throughout the world, but if it means we can hire from the 99.9 percentile instead of the 99 percentile, it’ll be worth it.

I strongly expect it’s actually on the low side, at least in large corporations.

Joel says each employee is getting about 425 rentable square feet, at a cost of $700 per month. That’s about $20 per square foot per year. That’s low for Class A office space, at least in some markets. Like, say, Schaumburg.

(Though with 53,255 square feet available in Zurich II, and a couple of newly-built office towers standing vacant, and a bunch of other Class A space vacant, perhaps Schaumburg rents have come down since I last looked in 2001…)

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