When determining how your new office should be laid out, it’s important to keep your business’s objectives in mind. This is particularly true in law offices, where the nature of the work can often breed stress and chaos if not managed correctly. Here are some tips and ideas to consider for a contemporary and efficient layout for a small law office:
Consider Uniform Office Sizes
The American Bar Association points out, law offices tend to lag behind other corporate spaces when it comes to design planning. These businesses have largely stayed away from adopting the open office model, which makes sense as the private nature of the business warrants individual spaces. In environments like this, it’s important to note that office size can be conducive to different kinds of stress. The ABA Journal indicated that more firms are starting to offer identically sized offices to partners and associates alike. This prevents distractions born of jealousy while helping to ensure clients that they are in good hands.
Open Up An Office With Glass Panels
One of the largest problems small law offices face is not having enough space to attract new talent and clients. In today’s changing and highly collaborative world, size is taking a backseat to the image. According to The Wall Street Journal, partners at law firms now occupy an average of 225 square feet, while associates can expect to have closer to 150 square feet. At a small firm, replacing traditional walls with glass panes can help to combat the absence of traditional space. Using glass panes can help sunlight to reach into areas of your office that would routinely depend on artificial light, which can feel rather sterile. This may also increase positive working relationships between your staff and offer an impression of heightened organization and openness to your clients.
Provide Multipurpose Space
One of the most useful changes that a smaller law firm can make to accommodate both its staff and clients is to design certain spaces to serve multiple purposes. In order to do this, though, it’s important to take into consideration which aspects of the traditional law office models you are willing to walk away from. For example, Contra Costa Lawyer has indicated that some firms are beginning to move away from the practice of having a built-in law library. These spaces have long served as a hallmark of the industry, housing hundreds to thousands of legal texts that are both ornamental and incredibly valuable from a reference standpoint. Nonetheless, the digital age is making these paper texts less relevant, and small offices may be better suited to use the space to create a multi-purpose conference room. This space can be used by all members of the firm for everything from strategy planning sessions to hosting clients for lunch. Simply outfitting the conference room with Wi-Fi, several laptops, a projector screen and comfortable, professional furniture will turn it into a hub of collaboration and productivity.
Enlist Professional Assistance
If you’re not sure where to start updating your small law office or just need more tips and advice consider enlisting the expertise of a professional space planner. Office Designs offers complimentary space planning services that can help you get your law office laid out efficiently. With more than 20 years of expertise in office furniture and space planning, we’ve helped businesses of all sizes and industries outfit their workspaces for success. If you have any questions give us a call at 888.485.1044.