Lawyers have to make decisions on their offices: Make it nice? Or make it inexpensive? Rarely do the two concepts coincide.
We spend a lot of time in our offices. Other than our homes, this is it.
My office was on the 8th floor, overlooking Broadway (and ticker tape parades) and City Hall Park (and the people who’d shout and scream at Mayor Guiliani).
I loved that building. As I walked into the office each day through the lobby of this gothic style skyscraper — once the world’s tallest, with its vaulted mosaic ceiling, gargoyles, and crowds of tourists gawking at its magnificence — I couldn’t believe I actually worked there.
And I enjoyed going in to work. It made me feel good to be there. I was productive. And it was a fine contrast to the windowless office that I started my solo career in, with a big mirror that I bought to give it the illusion of something bigger than a glorified closet.
Since leaving the Woolworth, each of my offices has been nice. Spacious. Welcoming. With pictures of my family filling the walls. The diplomas are on the wall behind me, where I don’t need to look at them.
Today’s rumination isn’t just for those looking for offices for themselves, but those in charge looking for their staff. Do you want them to look forward to work or do you want them miserable coming in? While this formula isn’t ironclad, I think it has a lot of validity, both for lawyers and staff:
Comfortable office = productive lawyer
Don’t be cheap unless you absolutely have to. Remember how much time you’ll spend there, and make sure it’s a place you want to go to each day.