Who needs an office anymore?
In the traditional sense, at least.
Let me paint a pretty picture for you. An entire floor of a building striped with rows of 6×6 cubicles that are bedecked with traces of home to make employees feel more AT home. Off-white, uninspiring walls that just happen to be the same shade of padded cells. Framed motivational posters banking on the notion that a cresting humpback whale is somehow going to encourage you to finish discovery on your latest case. A breakroom fridge stuffed with tape-labeled lunches where nobody’s Tupperware is safe. And the deafening silence of time crawling toward 5 PM, only broken by the gurgle of a mildew-infested water cooler.
Even the modern-day approach made popular by giant tech companies — with their breakout spaces, exposed red brick walls, foosball tables, half basketball courts and juice bars — are losing their charm in this current climate. Who needs a nap pod when they have an amazing and familiar couch just 5 feet from their desk?
Before 2020 unleashed its unprecedented havoc on an unprepared world, these white-collar torture chambers made at least some business sense. Drag yourself out of bed, sit in traffic, work hard. Punch out, sit in traffic, eat dinner, spend a couple hours with your family (if you’re lucky), go to bed. Rinse. Repeat. It has been programmed into us that this is the way things are supposed to be, preordained by the generations that came before us, dating all the way back to the 18th century. And that’s the way it has remained, sometimes seven painful days a week. ‘Tradition’ they call it. But Thomas Edison, one of the many brilliant minds who graduated us from flickering oil lanterns to buzzing tungsten filaments and helped progress these offices to the more contemporary — for a time — settings, had some choice words regarding debunking tradition.
“What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions
born in days when men knew even less than we do now.”
This sentiment rings true even more so today. Why are we so hung up on a custom that was created when there wasn’t a single iota of the technology necessary to support it? Is it to have an 8-hour break from our home life? Is it all about getting more steps on your pedometer? Is it possibly so our micro-managing bosses can keep up their sadistic watch, leering over our modular half-walls like Bill Lumbergh in Office Space — “Ahhh, I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.”
Back in March, when COVID-19 froze the world in its tracks, corporate head honchos everywhere were forced to pivot from their stodgy, mind-numbing, 9-to-5 rigmarole to envision a new blueprint. And you know what — an overwhelming number of them have made it work. Productivity flinched but it didn’t falter. Work got done. Deadlines were met. Every day of the week became casual Friday, as men donned a shirt and tie with gym shorts and women gloried only applied make-up if their clients requested a Zoom with video. We are now over a month into the fall season of this fateful year, and hundreds of offices in every major city are still sitting idle and collecting dust, all while continuing to rack up colossal, 6-figure rent tabs. Cubicle farms are finally signaling their (unplanned) obsolescence and the stage is suddenly set for the next groundbreaking work model.
While many companies will more than likely shift to a hybrid strategy, where employees will be able to choose home or office, or split up their work week to break the cadence of those mind-numbing water cooler gurgles, one legal organization in Southern California is already taking aggressive action to kick tradition to the curb and erasing the notion of brick-and-mortar firms entirely. With an advanced communication platform combined with a 24/7 collaborative workspace, lawyers from different practice areas, and with diverse experiences, can come together to bolster and advance each other’s cases. May we present to you, a clear-cut map for the unrestricted future of law.
Justice HQ, located in Downtown Los Angeles, with additional west coast spots coming in Orange County and Torrance (featuring a full-size mock courtroom), is creating this new landscape for consumer advocate attorneys in California and eventually beyond. Bob Simon, one of the concept’s founders, sums it up perfectly:
“How do we bring the concept of having these talented lawyers and all these
cases and consumers who need help and then putting them all into one space —
and solving the small business problem at the same time? That’s what Justice
HQ is. It’s marrying that consumer need with those quality lawyers and giving
them an equity stake, so the client wins in the end and those lawyers are
empowered to take their careers to the next level.”
Large law firms around the world encounter the same issues as any other industry — talented people can get lost in the mix and are often assigned to mundane tasks that won’t highlight their strengths or nurture their development. Valuable time, that should be spent pouring the concrete of their respective career foundations, is eaten up by busy work and climbing up through the ranks could easily require up to a decade worth of paying your dues.
This new approach, launched by Justice HQ earlier this year, is single-handedly modernizing civil litigation and putting the traditional office to rest at the same time. The group pools skilled attorneys and all their valuable resources, connecting them in one space, on one network, and making it all accessible from the very phone in their hand. Members benefit from picking the brains of other elite attorneys, having access to state-of-the-art conference rooms for depositions, and outsourcing their mailrooms. So, if you’re currently at a firm feeling trapped by your close-minded superiors and too intimidated to break out on your own as a solo practitioner, the timing could not be any more primed for you to take the leap. Justice HQ has the safety net already in place. Join us.