Important considerations when choosing a workspace

The commercial property market and the way we work is going through a significant change across the globe. But the legal industry has a uniquely different position…

Promoted by Clarence 07 August 2023 Big Law
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The commercial property market is going through a significant change across the globe.

While various industries continue to naval gaze about the best balance between Work From Home and Work From The Office, the legal industry has a uniquely different position. Legal practices must maintain CBD presence to be available in discrete and calming spaces for their clients, close to their peers and courts. Certainly not five days, but not less than three.

Building team culture, engaging with colleagues and peers, efficient team projects and social interaction all point to the importance of being in the office. Then a day or so working at home to close out administrative tasks or a working project that requires contemplation to balance.

In this context, flexible workspaces for small law practices makes sense. Here are a few things that should be considered when making this decision.

Appearance and Vibe

A CBD location or address can assist reputation and provide convenience for clients and staff. When choosing your new workspace, its essential to consider whether it reflects an image that you are happy to have associated with your business.

Is the address and building respectable? Is it close to law courts? Is it a ‘known’ legal building or near the legal district? Is it close to transport or parking? Are staff professional in manner and dress? Are your fellow tenant’s professional in that regard? Are meeting rooms and spaces adequate for sensitive discussions? Are there logos everywhere, or is provider branding subdued, amplifying your firm’s gravitas?

And, importantly, are ping-pong tables or fuzzball compatible with the image you’re trying to project?


Look for a dynamic working environment that provides alternative spaces to suit different moods; from engaging discussions and collaborative spaces to semi-private desks and areas to relax in.

Get a feel for how the space is used by existing tenants, and how acoustics, visual sensory and natural light is used in the space.

Watch out for spaces that focus on hotdesking and open plan layouts. On busy days, these spaces can be overwhelming. On quiet days, you will feel as if you’re the last person on Earth, which will dour attempts to interact with others for fear of breaking the silence.


Solicitors have experienced profound changes in the legal industry post-COVID, resulting in feelings of isolation and loneliness1. For sole practitioners and small law firms, this feeling is amplified, where previously they may have worked in an engaging space, now finding themselves missing out on those conversations that made the office meaningful.

Workspaces can provide a supportive working environment. On your visit, you want to:

  1. Understand who the other tenants are in the workspace.
    From dress code to industry, scope out who you would be working with and if there’s a common ground to help quickly grow a relationship. Would your clients want to meet them?

  2. Learn how the workspace provider facilitates a sense of community.
    Beyond member social events, you’re looking for engagements that provide a professional edge, like member-to-member educational and networking opportunities and industry-focused seminars. 84% of small firms rely heavily on referrals, while 82% derive new clients or matters from word-of-mouth2. How collegial is the workspace environment?

  3. Get to know how the workspace provider services its members.
    Support staff are the ultimate wingmen. If staff are deeply engaged in their members’ business, chances are they can help introduce you to other members where there are mutual benefits for each other.


A workspace should make it easier for you to manage your practice, so that you can focus on billable hours.

With changes to how the legal sector operates, you should look to combine traditional with technological approaches to service delivery. Having on-site support will go a long way to impressing clients, running successful mediations, and making the most of the hours in your day. Look for:

  • Inhouse IT support, with dedicated technicians that can assist with technological difficulties.
  • Legal support services, like on-demand paralegals to reduce workload and demand on you and your team.
  • Professional administration staff that can act as your front of house, leaving positive impressions on clients.
  • Member programs that provide access to resources and solutions that help with managing your practice.

When looking for your next workspace, think of it as an extension of your practice. Your workspace can be a powerful tool for winning new business and expanding your network. So, with each space you visit, ensure you consider how it can elevate your practice beyond providing a desk and four walls.

If you are in the market for a private office, visit Clarence and see why more than 2,000 solicitors across 600-plus practices prefer The Workspace for Lawyers. Reserve a week-long trial suite at our participating locations in September, to experience Clarence firsthand.


1 Knifing, K. M., Narayanan, J., Anseel, F., Antonakis, J., Ashford, S. P., Bakker, A. B., ... & Vugt, M. V. (2021). COVID-19 and the workplace: Implications, issues, and insights for future research and action. American Psychologist, 76(1), 63-77. doi: 10.1037/amp0000724


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