Multi-generational issues are making their way into the legal landscape, creating a significant impact on law firm cultures and brands. Apart from shaping recruitment, employee tenure, and succession planning, the needs of each generation are also permeating into law office design and transforming the way interior legal spaces look.
Companies like Legal-Lease believe that the right office space can improve client and staff retention while increasing bottom-line profitability. The secret lies in having a clear definition of the optimal workspace. Each generation of lawyers has, in fact, shown a preference towards the ideal office space:
For Baby Boomers, the “ranking of seniority” still exists, which points to a hierarchal structure in law office space. As a result, Baby Boomer attorneys often feel productive in an office plan that contains calm and private spaces — closed offices and separate rooms where team members work independently from each other. This type of offices may also contain libraries and traditional furnishings.
Generation Xers are the first to embrace a modern-style law office design. The layout encourages community and inclusivity, containing design elements, such as glass-fronted windows and conference rooms. This layout fosters more proactive engagement, making it easier for Gen Xers to monitor associates and communicate the goals of the firm. Through flexible furniture, the law office for Gen Xers looks calmer and more welcoming than the typical firm.
Millennials feel more comfortable operating in an open office layout. Working in a collaborative space gives them a sense of freedom and the ability to think outside of the box. Furthermore, the Millennial area of a law firm stands out because of its digital features: from touchpad screens to upgraded projectors. The interior design of the office space might contain bright and bold colors that contain a touch of nature.
Each age group has unique identity workplace needs. The ideal law office should, therefore, be a flexible working environment that incorporates the needs of each generation.