The legal industry is in the midst of tremendous changes that will inevitably have a profound impact on the way attorneys approach their business. In the wake of these changes, law firms are being challenged to control rising expenses, improve client services and responsiveness, boost efficiency and infuse technological support to improve overall productivity. New trends in space planning, document technology, data security and the services offered will all redefine how law offices practice, how they meet the ever-changing needs of their client base, and how they strategically position themselves competitively.
Gaining a Competitive Edge
While much has changed about law, law office design and technology, the challenge to maintain a competitive edge remains of primary interest to law practices. Taking the necessary steps to ensure survival in this ever-changing industry visit here https://casnet.com/blog/how-attainable-is-the-paperless-office/ will prevail as the legal sector is transformed. Embracing technological advances in document management, storage and retrieval; revolutionizing the traditional office space to allow more mobility, agility and flexibility; and opening our eyes to a broad spectrum of external services will all become key success factors. In a recent survey of the 1200 largest U.S. law firms, 98% of attorneys agreed that telecommuting will increase over the next 10 years.
How will your law firm effectively meet the objectives necessary to help your business thrive in this competitive market without compromising core business? How will you implement and balance these changes to maximize profitability and gain a competitive edge? The process begins by developing a better understanding of what the key Law Trends are and how these trends can shape the way your business operates and, ultimately, how they will affect the bottom line. How Will The Trends Shape The Way Your Business Operates?
Building Selection and Design: Traditional high-rent law space is giving way to more streamlined real estate holdings as large firms consolidate operations and opt for functional, simplified space. While impressive workspace still prevails, having an expensive, high-profile property may no longer make good business sense. To aid in the building selection, more law practices are seeking the expertise of an unbiased, tenant-only real estate broker to assist them in the building selection process. Architects added to the leasing team early in the process assist law firms in developing specific space requirements by analyzing the cultural and functional aspects of the business.
Many firms are opting for sustainable design as this initiative reaches main stream. The long-term goal: to create a space that meets functional requirements and positively reflects the company. TRENDS TO WATCH – Real Estate Opulent, high-rent real estate for law practices are shifting to smaller, more efficient office spaces. Trends indicate that more attorneys are utilizing their office space as a tool to support staff, enhance services, and create a workspace that promotes flexibility, collaboration and technology advancement.
Office Space and Size: While the influence of defining status and communicating brand visibility remains important in the legal sector, law firm trends indicate that office space and allocation within the practice are changing dramatically. With many law practices seeking to reduce overhead, spatial reduction has become one of the single most important means of streamlining expenses. Within the office itself, shared offices for retired partners, universal workstations, consolidation of conference spaces and reduction in law library space are at the forefront of changes. War rooms or, essentially, central group spaces for attorneys working on case trials, are becoming the norm allowing a cost-effective way to support teams in an environment that supports collaboration.
Commuter offices with connections for computers and telephones are providing flexible convenience aimed at providing a reserved space for visiting attorneys or retired partners. Space as a Tool – Sensible, Simple and Sophisticated Law offices of the future are more diverse than ever. Space doesn’t necessarily equate to status as more law firms are scaling down to reduce overhead and viewing space as a tool to help them run their business more effectively. More offices are opting for healthier, sustainable environments, more relaxed, communal surroundings with better services and, certainly, more mobility to facilitate meetings from virtually anywhere inside or out of the office.
Office space and the profound affect it can have on the overall productivity of your office are driving a change in how practices view the profile of their space. Three factors to be considered when determining space requirements: Simple – Consider how your office operates, the proximity of office space to key amenities, support clusters and teaming environments. Efficiency within the office will enhance greatly if you consider the process and create spaces that accommodate them.
Functional – Furniture plays a key role in the functionality of your office. Successful furniture selection and placement can prove extremely beneficial allowing for the reduction of total office square footage as well as freeing up prime floor space. In addition, consolidation of conference spaces, clustering meeting spaces and shifting traditional book storage to research zones can have a vast impact on how your business operates. Effective — Office space must have agility to function effectively enabling you and your staff to quickly respond to changing needs. New offices must meet current demands and provide the necessary foundation for future growth and technological advancement.