How Much Space Do You Need to Grow?


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.

Moving Your Office? You Need a Plan.


Relocating your company to a new office space is an exciting time, full of endless possibilities. Such a large undertaking will of course create stress, but proper planning in advance will save you and your business time, money and hassle.

Tenant Advisory Group has helped hundreds of companies grow their business in a new space. See below for key tips we provide our valued clients.

Build Your Team
A company relocation has too many moving parts for one person to handle. It’s important to have a solid team in place to keep track of every detail. Here are a few of your key players:

  • Involve your moving company in the planning process as early as possible to get the best estimate on your relocation timeline. Contact your furniture vendor and/or partner with an interior designer to plan the look and layout of your new space.
  • Have an in-house or on-hand technical expert who can spearhead setting up and migrating your phone and data systems.
  • Designate at least one employee as the Move Captain. This person will communicate clearly with staff regarding packing procedures, as well as what to expect in the new location.

Take or Toss
Starting fresh in a new office presents the opportunity to shed items you may not have use for anymore.

  • Before making any decisions, prepare a complete inventory of everything in your office — from the conference tables to paperclips.
  • Comb through sensitive items such as bank statements, contracts, invoices, client information, etc. Either pack items in secure filing boxes or arrange for a shredding service to take them away.
  • Get rid of unwanted electronics, computer equipment and furniture by either recycling or donation. Make sure to gather the necessary paperwork for potential tax write-offs.

Spread the Word
Let your entire network (clients, vendors, professional organizations, etc.) know that your company has a new space and address.

  • Make a list of your current clients and vendors, and notify everyone of your change of address to avoid any hiccups in business or productivity.
  • Prepare and order new stationery, business cards and envelopes to reflect your new location.
  • Contact the post office to have all mail forwarded to your new address.

For questions about how Tenant Advisory Group can make your Chicago relocation as seamless as possible, contact us today.