Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Friday, June 08, 2007

Open Plan Offices - solicitors love them or loathe them

Open Plan Offices and Solicitors

Open plan offices are the bane of our lives as recruiters. Some firms insist on them, as it is good for the boss - he sits in a nice large office at the end of the hall containing the workers, and has a significant amount of credibility. The workers all huddle around desks set out at seemingly random intervals across the floor, with just about sufficient space to put a photo up and speak to someone on the phone without another person hearing 10 metres away.

Solicitors on the whole, I have found, absolutely detest them. It gets back to the whole picture of becoming a solicitor - you get status, spend 8 years of your life studying away to earn what a good secretary does in other firms, and then find you are expected to base yourself on the shop floor with other similarly suffering lawyers who get more and more depressed and cynical as they go on.

Alternatively, some people love them! They get to interact with others, ask questions of more senior staff without needing to knock on their doors, and deal much more quickly with problems.

I do think at times though firms seem to rush into designing these without consulting with the very people who will be working in them. Practice managers are not often the best people to ask - usually solicitors regard themselves as superior in mind and status to these individuals, and taking a HR director or Practice Manager's advice on the issue is not sufficient - it has to be the solicitors who make the decision.

Time and again we get one of the main reasons for moving as not liking the open plan office environment...

Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online UK legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online for our recruitment services -

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