With success comes growth and with growth comes a need for more employees and space for those employees to work. While it can be challenging to know just how fast your company may grow, an estimate is necessary for you to understand your needs and for you to have an adequate amount of space to accommodate that growth. Check out these tips to find that sweet spot of room for expansion while also being realistic about what are those needs.
How to Determine Space Requirements for Growth
Every business has different needs when it comes to space, so there isn’t a magic formula to guide you to an exact number of square footage, but you can make an educated estimate. Each employee you have on staff will require approximately 220 square feet in office spaces that aren’t open concept. So for example, if you have 100 employees on your team, you would need to account for 22,000 square feet in work space to accommodate them. From there, you will also have to take into consideration other spaces such as conference rooms, lunch areas, restrooms, storage and any other additional rooms you need for your specific office layout. After you have an idea of how much space you need to accommodate your current workforce, multiply the total square footage by 10 to 20 percent depending on how much growth your business projects. This additional space for growth is known as shadow space.
Shadow Space vs. Right of First Refusal
There are a few different ways you can go about ensuring you have adequate space to grow. As we mentioned above, you could rely on shadow space. This space is an unused buffer that will be filled as you add more employees to your team. But what happens to the space in the meantime? More often than not, businesses are paying for the space even when it’s not being utilized. This option is great for short-term growth, but if your plans to expand don’t move as quickly as you hoped, you could be paying for more space than you need.
On the other hand, you can work with your broker to include a right of first refusal agreement in your lease. Here’s what that means. Say you come across an office space that fits your current space needs, and there is also an additional adjacent space that would be perfect for you to grow into when the time comes. A right of first refusal agreement ensures that before your landlord leases that space to a third party, they must offer the space to you first. This option is great for companies that plan on growing, but need a little more time to achieve their goals.
An important step in ensuring your new office location has the perfect amount of space is to analyze how your business has grown in the past and how you predict it will continue to grow in the future. From there you can formulate a realistic idea of how much additional space you may need, and decide if either shadow space or a right of first refusal agreement are viable options for you.
Where you work matters. That’s why we’ve partnered with an online software platform to make it easy to search for spaces that are specific to your needs. All you need to do is enter your information here, and you will be given access to a database of office space listings complete with virtual tours, floor plans and all-in monthly prices. Finding the space of your dreams is only a click away.
This Executives Breakfast inspired a number of great discussions and offered Chicago business leaders the opportunity to broaden their networks.
At the Executives Breakfast, attendees discussed “Is there a defining moment or decision you’ve made that has helped shape your career?” Here are the responses:
Jill Kushner Bishop, PhD, Founder & CEO, Multilingual Connections: Wanting to start a business for a while but had a comfortable position. HR director had made some unethical decisions and she spoke out and was given resignation later. Was Named Evanston business person of the year!
Jaclyn Moser, Partner, Harken Interiors: Was helping facilitate creative work and wasn’t getting the right fit from the current job. Wasn’t being fulfilled. Seeing the fruits of their labor.
Brian Black, Relationship Development Manager, Tenant Advisory Group: When he met Bill, he felt he was a genuine guy. When spoke with Mark Meyer he suggested a lane change for his career.
Matt Field, President, Express Employment Professionals – Used a recruitment firm and it was a terrible experience.
Chris Sommers & Jaclyn Moser, Founders & Partners, Harken Interiors: Getting paired up with Jaclyn and seeing how well they worked together.
Nanette McCarthy, Principal Partner, Griffin McCarthy & Rice: It started from previous employment and she met her partner there. She saw that the client’s best interest was not being met. She and her partners started their own firm to put their client’s best interests first.
Robert Natke, Partner, UrbanWorks: Just graduated from architectural school. He went back for an MBA and that changed his approach to architecture.
Max Adelman, State Farm Insurance Agent, Max Adelman State Farm: He was premed at home for break. His family told him to not be a doctor.
Joe Blandford, CEO, Greatline Communications: Had a job and got a new boss. His boss was a difficult person to work for and he left. After surviving cancer, he changed perspective. He has 4 daughters.
Cathy Jama, Executive Vice President, Tenant Advisory Group, LLC: Had a meeting with Bill and is now working with the TAG team. Surround yourself with positivity.
Laurel Bellows, Founding Managing Partner, Bellows Law Group, P.C. & Past President, American Bar Association: Met her future husband and current law partner. She wanted to be a trial lawyer when women weren’t allowed to be lawyers. He was looking to train a woman to be a trial lawyer. Who stands in front of a jury and builds a relationship within 30 seconds, a man or a woman?
Percy Haley, Partner, Black Rhino Financial GroupF: Decided to switch careers from banking. Prayed about it and he met his partner Darryl.
Jamie Horn, Partner, Digital Experience and Marketing Recruiting: Her dad never encouraged her to get into the business. She did an internship in commercial real estate and came out of school in a recession.
Chris Salvi, Co Founder, Salvi Media: Interviewing a glioblastoma caretaker. Made him realize the power of the story.
Amber Autumn, VP of Business Development, Summit Design & Build: Her dad was a brick mason and he took her to jobs. When she was 8, her dad said do you want to go to work with me or stay home with your mom and clean the house?
Dane Sanders, Director of Capital Markets, Black Rhino Financial Group: Wife, and 3 kids were the defining moment. A client said you really helped me.
Rick Sudekum, Managing Partner, Sudekum, Cassidy & Shulruff: when some younger partners came to him and convinced him to start a new firm. Living values. 10 commandments. Do unto others.
Mark Meyer, Founder, E&M Strategic Development: Was a banker at Associated. Had a cushy job. He was approached by someone to go to straight commission and left salary. He has started 7 different businesses since. He cames back to relationships and began doing the right things. Do what you say you’re going to do.
Ivan Vislavskiy, Co-Founder and CEO, Comrade Web Agency: inspired by his old boss. He loved him and thought very highly of him. He wanted to be like his boss. Decided needed balance in his life.
Chuck Gullet, Managing Broker, Best Chicago Properties: Has 13 yrs at Caterpillar. The moment of clarity was during Pearl Jam at Lollapalooza. Realized he needed to move to Chicago.
Cyrus Rivetna, Principal, Rivetna Architects Inc: Was doing everything for his business and took the plunge and hired his first employee. Changed his mentality that he can delegate. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, you’re doing the wrong thing.
Max Adelman, State Farm Insurance Agent, Max Adelman State Farm
Laurel Bellows, Founding Managing Partner, Bellows Law Group, P.C. & Past President, American Bar Association
Tim Van Mieghem, Partner, Proaction Group
Dave Norris, COO, RedRidge Finance Group
Chuck Gullet, Managing Broker, Best Chicago Properties
Amber Autumn, VP of Business Development, Summit Design & Build
Laura Dribin, CEO & Founder, Peritius Consulting
Dane Sanders, Partner- Director of Capital Markets, Black Rhino Financial Group
Max Adelman, CEO, Max Edelman State Farm
Joe Blandford, President, Greatline Communications
Matt Field, President, Express Employment Professionals
Chris Sommers & Jaclyn Moser, Founders & Partners, Harken Interiors
Percy Haley, Partner, Black Rhino Financial Group
Jill Kushner Bishop, Ph.D., Founder & CEO, Multilingual Connections
Nanette McCarthy, Principal Partner, Griffin McCarthy & Rice
Andy Mack, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, SnapMobile
Chris Salvi, Co-Founder, Salvi Media
Robert Natke, Partner, UrbanWorks
Rick Sudekum, Managing Partner, Sudekum, Cassidy & Shulruff
Jaclyn Moser, Partner, Harken Interiors
Brian Black, Relationship Development Manager, Tenant Advisory Group
Joe Blandford, CEO, Greatline Communications
Cathy Jama, Executive Vice President, Tenant Advisory Group, LLC
Jamie Horn, Partner, Digital Experience and Marketing Recruiting
Mark Meyer, Founder, E&M Strategic Development
Ivan Vislavskiy, Co-Founder and CEO, Comrade Web Agency
Cyrus Rivetna, Principal, Rivetna Architects Inc
Employees are the lifeblood of any business, and their productivity is directly tied to their happiness. Employees who feel their needs are being met are generally more productive and creative. It’s human nature, and finding a space that supports your team can mean happier and more productive employees.
Need: A Quiet Place
Open-concept office spaces are great for collaboration, but what happens when someone needs a private space to focus or make a call? Consider finding space with smaller office rooms that can accommodate the need for a place to think, a place to be productive and place for your employees to take a moment away from the hustle and bustle.
Need: A Place to Communicate
Whether your team is trying to complete that sale or they’re corresponding with a client via video conference, it’s important to have a designated space to take calls and video conferences. This room will need to have infrastructure that allows it access to the necessary technology.
Need: A Place to Gather
From social gatherings to team meetings to networking events, there needs to be space within your office for people to gather. Consider a multi-purpose space with movable furniture and partitions. This will allow you the freedom to use the multi-purpose area to gather when needed and utilized for other office functions when not needed.
Adequate spaces and layout should be an important consideration for your search. When your team feels supported and heard within the office space and structure, the results yielded will be boosted productivity, increased morale and an overall better work experience.
Need: A Place for New Mothers
Mother’s Rooms are one of the best ways you can support employees coming back from maternity leave. Not only are these spaces a great way to help the mothers on your team feel like their needs are being met, it’s also illegal to not have a private area for women who are nursing.
Where you work matters. That’s why we’ve partnered with an online software platform to make it easy to search for spaces that are specific to your needs. All you need to do is enter your informationhere.You will be given access to a database of office space listings complete with virtual tours, floor plans and all-in monthly prices. Finding the space of your dreams is only a click away.