A desk, a phone, a computer, a door, restroom access, filing cabinets. When you’re starting out as a lawyer-entrepreneur with a limited budget, you may be satisfied renting any office space with these basic items, regardless of the physical environment. But is your office welcoming, or dingy and claustrophobic? (Images come to mind of Jimmy McGill in Better Call Saul, cramming his law office into a closet inside a nail salon.) You might be able to “make do” with that setup, yet what kind of work environment are you really creating for yourself or your employees? What will it say to clients who come see you?
While you develop your sales, marketing and automation strategies, don’t overlook the importance of creating a welcoming physical environment at your law firm—both for your team and your clients. Otherwise, you could be cutting yourself off at the knees.
Why It Matters
We are deeply affected by our surroundings, whether we realize it or not. Studies like the Gensler Workplace Survey confirm that workplace design can have a profound impact on employee satisfaction and productivity. Create a pleasant, well-designed environment, and your employees will get more done and be happier in the process.
Just as importantly, first impressions matter. When a stranger (read: new client) walks into your law firm for the first time, he will decide within seconds whether he wants to stay there. No matter how clever you were in your marketing strategies to get that person in the door, if he doesn’t arrive to see a welcoming environment—he’s gone.
Factors to Consider in Creating a Welcoming Office Environment
Whether you’re choosing offices for the first time or sprucing up the ones you have, keep these elements in mind when designing your physical space:
- Let in the light. According to this informative article by CNN, natural light in the workplace promotes good health, better conversations, healthier sleep patterns, more productivity, fewer errors and better overall mood. If you don’t have enough windows, aim for lighting with “cooler” color temperatures that replicate natural daylight.
- Implement comfortable furniture, for employees as well as clients. Attractive, comfortable furniture makes visitors want to stay longer—and that’s good for business. Conversely, Business News Daily points out that employees who consider their furniture “bad” are less likely to be productive and more likely to be depressed.
- Climate control is critical in a professional office environment—not too hot or too cold. If someone notices the temperature in either direction, it’s a distraction; if the temperature is extreme, they find it unbearable.
- Remove the clutter. Light, open spaces are more conducive to productivity and good conversations.
If you’d like to learn more about ways to optimize the physical environment at your law firm, we are here to help. Give us a call at (888) 375-2573.