Downsize, Add On, Or Keep as-is: Thinking about Your Office Size Post Shelter-in-Place

Now is the time to think about where your business needs fit into your office space

office sizes - Truss

At this point, you may be starting to think about what it will look like to go back to work. You’re probably returning to the office as a changed company, and your space should reflect that. Now is the time to think about where your business needs fit into your office space and plan for adjustments as needed.

How Much Office Space Do You Need?

Regardless of changes to your company size or budget, it’s important to think about your current space and see if it still fits your needs. Generally speaking, you’re going to want to allot more space per person. 

If Your Current Office Size Works

If you already have excess space in your office, your current size may work. If you can no longer afford your current office but need that same amount of space, you may want to talk to your landlord about rent relief. You can also talk to your broker about a “blend and extend.” This means that you would extend your current lease early with a lower rental rate to help reduce your rent obligations. This would involve extending the length of your lease to obtain the reduced rent or increased concessions, like a month of free rent. 

If You Need to Downsize

If after accounting for added space for each employee, you find that your current office is still too big, and too expensive, you have a couple of options. Not wanting to lose your current space, you can attempt to sublease part of your space to another company and share the space. If that isn’t feasible, you can try to sublease your entire space and look for a new, smaller space. 

Alternatively, if you are unable to get out of your lease but can no longer afford it, you can also discuss rent relief, giving space back with a lease restructure or, as the last choice, a buyout with your landlord.

If You Need More Space

If your team is the same size, plan to give each team member more space. This doesn’t have to involve moving. You can implement a rotating schedule for teams to work from home and in the office to decrease the number of people in your office. You can also re-think your current office layout. For example, a conference room could become an office for a couple of people or reorient your workstations to allow more separation. 

If your current office cannot accommodate your space needs and you have the budget, you may want to look for more space. If your lease is far from over, you have two options. You can choose to move your entire team to a new space. Approach your landlord about vacant space in the building or within their portfolio and see if there are expansion options that fit your new needs. If there aren’t viable options, you may want to consider subleasing your office as you look for new space. Alternatively, you can search for a supplemental space that would hold part of your team. For example, a group of your employees may live in the suburbs, so you could lease an office at a lower price point for that team. You would also have the added bonus of giving your employees the option to avoid public transportation at this time. As you consider your options, you’ll want to compare the costs of leasing two smaller offices to one larger, centrally located office.

Get Personalized Help 

Our local brokers are here to help, whether it’s determining what size office you need, how you can best set up your space or how to talk to your landlord. If you’re looking to sublease your space or devise a real estate strategy, we can help. See below to book time to talk – we’re happy to offer consultations and services for free whether you’re a current Truss client or not.

Book time with us below:

Chicago: Nicole Weldon, Austin Zimmerman

Los Angeles: Sam Devorris, Chris Gunderson

Washington, DC Metro: Cam Kostyack

What Other Office Leasing-Related Questions Do You Want Us to Address?

What other questions do you have about office leasing? Send them our way ( and we’ll do our best to get information out there.