As a legal employer, you offer competitive salaries, effective management, interesting incentives, and work benefits (tax-favoured retirement plans, health and welfare plans, etc.). Nevertheless, you might notice a lack of engagement within the workforce. What makes lawyers unhappy is the lack of control over any work that must be done, the inability to make career progress, and the often-patronising senior associates and partners. And let’s not forget about workplace design. The office space has a considerable impact on the productivity and creativity of lawyers and has a positive effect on their health, well-being, and engagement.
Not long ago, legal professionals worked in isolated, cluttered, and hard-wired offices. Flexible working is the future. Now, workplaces can be easily rearranged to accommodate changing needs – or scaled up and down to fit different teams of different sizes. Office settings are functional, visually appealing, and enhanced with new digital tools. The elements of your law office should be well-designed for your team’s performance and to leave a good impression on your clients. Here’s some inspiration on how to maximise your space and show your value at work.
1. When It Comes to The Work Environment, Simple Is Always Better
Minimalism isn’t an aesthetic choice but a business one. Without clutter and superfluous items, your team of lawyers can better focus on the tasks at hand, so a minimalist office design is exactly what they need. The design should be classic, professional, and clean, but it doesn’t need to be boring. The aim is to provide a space that allows employees to fill it with their own ideas. Furniture is the main decorative element, so choose statement pieces as the focal points of the law firm. White makes the space look bigger, and it can be softened with friendly colours such as light blue. It’s recommended to remain consistent in how you use colour throughout your organisation.
Minimalism has been trendy for a while now (it’s not on the way out), and the philosophy is pretty obvious in the way architects design contemporary offices. For many, minimalism is a way of life, not a trend. A minimalist office design creates a comforting and relaxing environment, so wellness is easier to achieve for lawyers. To succeed in a competitive industry with high-stress levels, lawyers have extraordinary perseverance. Indeed, any career comes with some level of stress, but lawyers struggle with long hours, difficult clients, and ever-increasing demands, so the office should be free of clutter and filled with fresh air.
2. Include Glass Walls And/or Partitions
There are many benefits of using glass walls in an office space, such as lowering construction bills, improving staff productivity and morale, and making the place look cleaner. Some rooms, namely meeting rooms and conference rooms, can benefit from transparency and openness. They instantly become inviting to employees and guests, not to mention there’s a greater sense of trust in your company. As compared to traditional building materials, glass walls are long-lasting, so they look pristine for years to come. If you’re still using the cubicle work setup in your office design, glass partitions can come in handy, creating privacy where needed. Glass partitions are perfect for rented buildings where major structural changes aren’t appropriate.
3. Take Advantage of Natural Light in Architectural Design
Workers exposed to natural light experience fewer headaches, eyestrain, and blurred vision, so when you’re drawing up your design layout, find ways to let natural light in. access to natural light has a range of advantages for lawyers, which may contribute towards increased productivity in the work environment. Examples include but aren’t limited to vitamin D exposure, better sleep, and improved mood. Aside from that, natural light makes the law office look bigger and creates a sense of flow between the rooms. One of the simplest ways to make the most of natural light is to create an open work environment, favouring shared workplaces.
If your office doesn’t have a lot of natural light, use various light fixtures for visual health. Lights that give off a yellow or warm orange tone are more suitable for decompressing, while cool lights are better for concentrating. Modern LEDs allow you to adjust the brightness of the bulbs as per the time of the day, so you can start early in the morning and gradually advance as the day goes by. A light wood floor will make the workplace feel brighter and larger, giving the place a modern and fresh appearance. Attention must be paid to the fact that the combination of shades on the ceiling, walls, and flooring can change how the office appears.
4. Don’t Neglect Your Tech Needs
As highlighted by the experts at How Much Compensation, processes that were once achieved in a time-consuming manner are now handled with digital tools, applications, and systems. Not only should lawyers work in the right environment, but also with the best available technology. Take into account the various technical accessories necessary for the law firm to work smoothly and seamlessly when designing the office layout. The worst thing you could do is add them afterwards. For example, your conference room can include smart boards, which are like giant computers. The smart boards can be used for collaborative meetings and training sessions.
The ideal office environment is equipped with cutting-edge technological solutions for improved performance. Consider the technology available and how you can best integrate it. Hard as it may be to keep up with new developments, you have to make an effort, so spend enough time researching the technology you’re about to implement and how you can promote more effective ways of working. Customised furniture can be easily reconfigured, so you can merge analogue and digital elements into the workplace design. As law office design evolves, offering a competitive salary will no longer remain the only factor in evaluating job opportunities.
5. Incorporate Vibrant Colours
In case you didn’t already know, you can be a minimalist and love bright colours while avoiding the risk of too much stimulation. Red, for instance, stimulates energy levels, but an overwhelming amount of paint can cause agitation, so be careful. Yellow, which is considered a happy colour, can bring energy into the space (don’t paint your conference room this colour, though). Chances are you don’t have time to read a book on colour psychology, so you should reach out to an interior designer for advice. They’ll help you transform the office into a more productive workplace.
All in all, think outside of the box when it comes to the look of your office. The trick is not to go overboard.