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…)