Forward-looking legal organizations are successfully investing in and executing a hybrid-first model with a focus on the following strategies.
1. DOUBLE DOWN ON TECHNOLOGY
Growing technology investments is increasingly important for law firms to succeed.
Digital Transformation: The importance of tech-enabled work has never been so great. Digital transformation efforts like VPNs, data centers and software upgrades, which were once part of long-term strategic plans, have been accelerated to keep pace with the rate of change.
Cybersecurity: As firms shift their work environments, there is a heightened risk for data hacks and breaches. By implementing technology solutions, law firms are strengthening their cybersecurity to bolster their hybrid working infrastructure.
Mobility: Investments in laptops continue to surge, providing more flexibility for attorneys and staff to work in and out of the office.
2. REAL ESTATE REDESIGNED
The physical office isn’t just a place to get work done — it’s now essential to inspire collaboration and enrich company culture. Law firms are redesigning their office layouts to include:
- Communal areas to encourage conversation and facilitate impromptu collaboration
- Mixed-use spaces with movable walls and multipurpose furniture that can be adapted to employee needs
- Unassigned workstations and reduced number of private offices
- Open plan concept for first and second years lawyers to promote comradery and community, while providing easy accessibility to nearby leaders.
3. AMENITIES THAT MATTER
Law firms are strategizing on how to design a space that creates experiences, embodies firm culture and ultimately drives employees back to the office. A hospitality-driven workplace with ample amenities is what reunites people at work.
Work-focused amenities include libraries, cafés, fitness centers, focus rooms, outdoor terraces, collaboration spaces that allow you to work alone, but with colleagues, and other shared spaces that encourage conversation and foster associate-partner relationships. An amenity-rich environment promotes a variety of high-quality experiences firms can provide, which ultimately will set law firms apart from competition.
4. LEVERAGING A TAX LEASE
Financing office buildouts using a tax lease allows law firms to simplify their workplace projects, while strategically maximizing the tax benefits for their partners. A leasing company can help customize a finance solution that fits a firm’s needs.
Benefits of a tax lease:
- Expense rental payments
- Align lease cost to tax benefits
- Maximize partner distributions
- Eliminate a large single-year future write-off
- 100% financing, including soft costs
Amidst the ongoing war for talent, a well-executed workplace strategy can help set law firms apart and ultimately help create a connected workplace.