Even before the pandemic, law firms interested in enhancing the work culture for their employees invested in thoughtful and effective office design. Now, as many companies—including law practices—seek to inspire employees to return to the office, they are implementing more progressive design solutions to stimulate meaningful cultural changes within their businesses.
To effectuate the right redesign, a recent column from the American Bar Association recommends assessing the broader goals for the workspace and the collective when consulting with a design company and following a thorough workplace study. Considering how one perceives the office can benefit the attorneys, staff, and practice when creating a space that increases productivity, enhances recruiting and maximizes workplace satisfaction.
Physical arrangements depend on how the office wants to work within its space. Ultimately, employers want to design a space where workers will choose to come and spend a considerable portion of their work time.
While flexibility is a key consideration for many organizations, law offices naturally require spaces that ensure privacy and confidentiality. Of course, conventional methods can embrace innovative mechanisms while still guaranteeing discretion and enhancing confidentiality; this may include placing client spaces near the entrance and permitting ‘office hoteling’—which refers to the elimination of assigned seating in a workspace—for interior private offices.
Meanwhile, workspace redistributions can also support initiatives to increase collaboration among coworkers, foster inclusivity and increase equity. Rather than keeping corner offices with floor-to-ceiling walls and glass films that block sunlight from interior workspaces, firms can shift shared spaces for collaborative work and accessible amenities to the exterior. This can ensure that all staff experience equal access to resources, views and natural light. Providing spaces with various levels of light and sound stimulation accommodates neurodiversity and empowers employees to select the areas that best support their personal needs and suit the work they are doing.
More generally, office design can contribute to overall well-being for team members and attract top talent. Indeed, a departure from formality and prioritization of both comfort and natural light can support employee well-being. Plants and artwork can balance design elements and create comfort. Design that incorporates a firm’s brand identity and culture—like elements that were inspired by the company logo or that signal lead firm practice areas—can subtly stimulate esprit de corps and strengthen core values.
Choices for sustainable, energy efficient and regenerative design demonstrate a commitment to individual team member wellness while also showing positive intentions for the community and the planet. For example, selecting a location in a previously underserved neighborhood can potentially fuel the transformation of an area into a vibrant hub containing other businesses—like fitness studios, healthy food options and coffee shops—that boost the value of visits to your law office.
In a time of hybrid solutions, elegant and intentional use of physical space, which adeptly meets workers’ personal and professional needs, is just as important as integrating legal technology to smooth the running of your office.
Planning and executing the right office design adjustment takes money. One way to amass the funds you need is by avoiding the impulse to tie up firm resources in self-financing your plaintiff cases. LevelEsq case financing gives you money to cover case expenses, so you can keep your capital liquid. In cases you’ve already self-funded, you can free up cash by refinancing expenditures you’ve made on existing cases with Level Case Financing. Plus, you can purchase a Level Insurance policy to insure those costs against a possible trial loss.
Let LevelEsq be your financial ally as you take both your office space and your law practice to the next level.