Scaling for Office Space Growth

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For companies, a strengthening economy has many pros and, surprisingly, a few potential cons.  Booming business means increased capital and the ability to bring on new team members.  At the same time, office leasing rates are climbing.  Offices rental rates in downtown Fort Lauderdale have reached $36 per square foot and rates in Miami’s Brickell area are climbing as high as $45 per square foot.

As employers are finding the need to scale for office space growth, it can be helpful to understand how the following workplace strategies are helping companies today:

JLL Orlando

JLL’s Orlando office features open workspaces

Companies are maximizing office space efficiency with three popular methods:

  1. Reduction in individual space allocation. Older workstations can be up to 81square feet but with the transition to paperless or semi-paperless offices and increased technology, the standard individual workspace area has shrunk to 36square feet.
  2. Taking executives out of the corner office. As companies evolve into an open work environment, many are doing away with large private offices and moving team members to the core of the building.  This move saves on space and also promotes collaboration among team members.
  3. Desk sharing. The trend of one workspace used by multiple employees started in the tech industry and is making its way to professional services firms.  This a great strategy for companies where the bulk of their work force operate out in the field.

Before expanding within their current space, employers must take time to weigh the pros and cons:

Typically, expanding within a current space offers more cons than pros.  Renovations bring dust, noise and disruptions, which decreases employee productivity. It also becomes more difficult to negotiate rent. On the positive side, there is no commute change.

JLL's Brickell Key Office

JLL’s Brickell Key office features open collaborative spaces

Likewise, companies must be aware of the advantages or disadvantages of a relocation:

An office move is often a good idea because the space can be prepared ahead of time and employees are offered an opportunity to purge their current workspaces of unnecessary clutter. A new office also allows for fresh attitudes towards the new workplace.  Additionally, tenants can often negotiate better rents and incentives when they are relocating to a new space.


Those who pull off a successful office expansion understand it’s no small task:

For JLL’s headquarters in Chicago, we determined a renovation of our existing space to be the ideal solution to our needs. Our goal for our new headquarters is to create a workplace that meets the needs of a modern workforce, helps us operate with maximum productivity and sets the stage for a profitable future. It is quite an epic undertaking when the project involves 1,200+ employees, across 200,000 square feet and six floors. You can witness our progress and review the complete strategy, impact and results at

About the Author

Eva GarzaEva Garza, JLL Vice President of Consulting Services 

Eva Garza specializes in corporate real estate workplace strategy for JLL.  Eva collaborates with the firm’s brokerage professionals across the state of Florida, as well as serves as a member of the JLL Workplace Strategy global team. Email Eva