Good Monday morning from Nashville.
Recently, I’ve read a half-dozen articles or so regarding the work place in terms of real estate or “work space” allocation. In a recent NY Times piece for example, the author talked at length about how Law firms are moving in the direction finally… of less excess with their internal real estate layouts. Long one of the last, great…traditional business models where landing that swank, corner office with a view…large desk and dark wood all around has been a perk to top law recruits, law firms are starting….slowly but surely to reduce the sizes of their offices for partners and top associates. More employees are office sharing, and dark-solid walls are starting to come down in favor of more open spaces geared towards collaboration.
There are many reasons for this set of occurrences. One is quite practical. Law Firms, even the most profitable of them are not immune to the economic times, and so therefore are looking for ways to cut costs.
Another really good reason for this shift however, is the general feeling that senior attorneys in law offices can do a much better job mentoring their up and coming attorneys and other legal staff, by utilizing more common space. Face to face. Along this same line of thought, the overall satisfaction level of employees regardless of field, increases when they are able to see each other more often, and collaborate more readily with their peers. Not only does this encourage faster, and better creative problem solving, it simply fosters more of a sense of belonging, rather then one of isolation.