In the business world as we know it today, 43% of all US employees work remotely. This can’t come to a huge surprise as we all know handfuls of people who don’t report to an office every day. Reports claim that when employers offer a variety of work settings, there is a 12% increase in employee satisfaction.
In our audit within the legal industry, we found that many of our legal clients reflect a wide range of workplace strategies and layout/product choices, and not necessarily all have jumped on the bandwagon with regard to this new way of working.
While some are edging more towards a future-thinking workplace, others are still very traditional in their mindset. We do expect to see many more firms start to explore alternate strategies as their current leases expire and they prepare for the influx of the next generation of attorneys. While most leases are 10-15 years, that means most companies today are planning for the workplace needs of 2030 and beyond.
CBRE has estimated that 29 million square feet of law firm lease space is set to expire in the next 5 years. (Half of these lease expirations are in New York, Houston, Chicago & Washington D.C.)
In the legal industry specifically:
While we know workplace planning is in a constant state of flux, we find it’s interesting to look at some of the nuances with regards to specific verticals while also comparing them to some of the macroeconomic drivers for change.
From our viewpoint, we see many shifts starting to happen. Some mirror what we see currently happening in other industries, and some are different due to the unique needs and habits of legal workplaces.
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS
In a world where it appears the norm is inching closer towards remote working, legal firms are sticking to the philosophy of creating a place that people want to come to because they can’t get the tools, technology and peer-to-peer interaction anywhere else.
Gallup State of the American Workplace Report 2017
BISNOW: Law Firms Are ‘Future-Proofing’ The Workplace To Remain Competitive
BISNOW: Goodbye Dark And Dreary, Hello Open, Well-Lit Law Office
CBRE 2017 US Law Firm Trends Report
BISNOW: Law Firms Are ‘Future-Proofing’ The Workplace To Remain Competitive / CBRE 2017 US Law Firm Trends Report