In last month’s blog, I mentioned that I regularly attend panel discussions, seminars and business development meetings to meet potential clients, confer with like-minded professionals, and learn new things along the way.
I recently attended a presentation at Facebook’s NYC headquarters regarding How Social Media is Impacting Elections. The strategic use of social media seemed like a relevant topic, before the Republican nominee proved himself to be uncontainable in his Twitter rants.
The most provocative aspect of that evening was gaining access to Facebook’s inner sanctum. Having spent the bulk of my professional experience trolling the hallowed halls of BIG LAW firms, I thought Facebook’s office in the film The Social Network was a Hollywood depiction of reality. Actually, their real-life offices are just as informal. The walls are splatter painted with graffiti art, and there is a large-scale photograph of the Beastie Boys. Is MCA rolling in his grave?
Today’s offices feature a lack of private office space and an emphasis on community building through the provision and ever-present availability of food and drink. No longer is success measured by a large, corner office with walls of windows and a private, executive bathroom. Everything and everyone is out in the open. The top-level executives are mixed in with the rank-and-file employees.
The last time I worked in an office setting was 7 years ago, but since opening Aimee B. Davis Law P.C., I’ve had the occasion to visit other corporations, such as Google, One Kings Lane, and the public atrium spaces at Bloomberg Headquarters. The offices of these companies are completely different from traditional law firms.
Today’s working environment is all about access and collaboration. But, I have a lot of questions about why that should be and what purposes it serves:
- Is this solely intended to improve the morale/quality of life and/or creativity level of the employees?
- How do today’s open office spaces impact a company’s productivity?
- Does it increase a company’s success in the marketplace?
- Is this type of setting best suited for creative and/or innovative business ventures?
- What are the advantages of this new type of workplace?
Although the private practice of law is meant to be a collaborative process, in my experience, when heavy drafting needs to get done, a responsible attorney retreats to her private office, shuts the door, and puts pencil to paper.
An important part of my job is to ensure the internal consistency of provisions within a contract. This requires a high degree of concentration and focus, attention to detail, the ability to cross-check related provisions, and a working knowledge of the entire agreement. (Words Do Matter) In my opinion, drafting complex legal documents in an open environment would not be efficient, and the likelihood of distractions could result in increased costs to the client.
In speaking with certain C-suite executives about this, it was noted that open offices create issues regarding the maintenance of confidential information.
We cannot deny that the workplace is changing, but will it be for the better?
Aimee B. Davis Law P.C. is committed to advising its clients and resolving issues relating to the legal and business matters that are important to them. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (917) 617-2243 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.