Revamping the Legal Industry: 7 Key Changes to Workspace Design and Usage
The legal industry is undergoing significant changes in how it approaches workspace design and usage.
Here are seven key points to consider:
1. There is a shift away from traditional ideals and ways of working towards introducing new elements that nurture interaction, collaboration, and a shared sense of purpose.
2. Legal firms are shedding space and rethinking their office design to increase efficiency and collaboration. As a result, firms renewing their leases have reduced workspace by 15% or more, while those relocating have downsized by up to 30%.
3. Post-pandemic, downsizing will likely continue in the legal industry, with some real estate professionals predicting a 15 to 25% reduction in space occupied by law firms.
4. As the hybrid work model is increasingly embraced, law firm employees will continue to work from home for part of the work week. In addition, firms will implement hoteling strategies to maximize density and accommodate growth.
5. Target ratios, once over 700 square feet per attorney, could be as low as 400 to 500 square feet per attorney.
6. The legal office was already experiencing an issue fostering a robust firm culture before the pandemic, with private attorney offices empty for 40% of the workday. So now is the chance to reset the law office.
7. Smart law firms want to incorporate a hybrid work model that embraces mobility, increases amenities, and delivers a great workplace experience for a multigenerational workforce.
With these changes come new design elements, such as an interconnecting stair to link people, lounges, terraces, and cafés for attorneys and staff to socialize, complete with amenities such as a genius bar, coffee, and snacks. In addition, collaboration and meeting spaces will likely increase proportionally in the office, and technology will take on a more prominent role as firms allocate more financial resources to it. Finally, to promote well-being, firms are implementing policies such as a clean desk policy and a space reservation system.
By embracing these changes, the legal industry can create workspaces that accommodate more collaboration, mentoring, and knowledge-sharing and support interactions and relationship development that do not work well remotely.
In conclusion, the legal industry is experiencing a shift towards a more collaborative and purpose-driven approach, focusing on critical thinking, productivity, and efficiency. As firms downsize and embrace a hybrid work model, adapting to new trends and ways of working. Haworth’s diverse furniture offers the necessary product solutions to create a modern workspace that fosters innovation and teamwork, while Brigholme provides the accompanying services in support of the project. Some services include design, AV technology, asset management, procurement, and financial planning.
Now is the time to reset your firm’s interior landscape and create a dynamic new office experience. Haworth and Brigholme Interiors are here to support you through the process.
Figler, S., Rogowski, S., Brecailo, H., & Piche, C. (2023, February 7). Canada Real Estate Outlook. Commercial real estate. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://www.jll.ca/en/trends-and-insights/research/canadian-realestate-outlook
Gensler Research Institute. (2023, January 18). Canada workplace survey 2022. Gensler. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://www.gensler.com/gri/canada-workplace-survey-2022