Some of the coolest office space I’ve ever seen looks out onto the lobby.
You know the kind of space I’m talking about. The places with big glass windows looking out onto a great atrium, public space, or open area. You can see people walking by, and they can see you. It’s pretty neat.
One lawyer I know has an office that’s a few floors above the lobby, but he has great big glass windows looking down on the lobby, and there’s a glass elevator that goes up and down right across from his windows. He has a great big window on the other side of his office that looks outside. Light pours through his space. It’s awesome.
I always wanted an office like that. I’m a big people watcher. But when the opportunity for that kind of office presented itself, I didn’t take the space.
Why I Didn’t Take the Lobby Space
One day, the lobby space in one of our buildings came open. The previous tenants moved out once the federal indictments were handed down by the grand jury (that’s a story for another day).
We went down and looked at the space. We carefully examined the space and started preparing some drawings for how we might rip out the walls and rearrange the offices.
That’s when it hit me. That’s when I realized the following:
- I was never going to have a nice office overlooking the lobby.
- I was destined to have office space looking out on private areas.
While I’d love those big windows and the people watching, my clients might not be thrilled with having their presence revealed to everyone passing by our office.
Our clients would prefer to meet with us in private. The last thing they wanted was a friend or co-worker noticing them in our office space and mentioning seeing them in a divorce lawyer’s office.
Game over for the new space.
Oh well, at least that office space gave me this idea for another article.
Office Space to Avoid
There are other types of office space that aren’t great for clients.
- An office near the courthouse. Lots of lawyers find office space near the courthouse. That’s great for you if you go to court frequently. But is office space near the courthouse good for your clients? Our courthouse is downtown in an area unfamiliar to many people. Our downtown area isn’t easily accessed: parking is challenging, and many in our community are uncomfortable downtown since they don’t typically have a reason to be there. So would a downtown office suit our clients? Probably not.
- A building shared with doctors. What about an office with lots of doctors housed in it? Not always a good choice for lawyers. Some people freak out when confronted with sick people, especially when the building has the medical smell.
There are other reasons why a building might not be great for clients even though it meets your needs.
Before you pick your next office, spend some time thinking through the impact on clients. In fact, you should probably evaluate your present space from a client perspective.
The type of office space you select and its location make a difference to your clients. Think through the impact before you sign on the dotted line.