The Importance of Keeping the Modern Workplace Flexible

by Mike Petrusky on May 24, 2019

One of the biggest challenges workplace leaders and facilities managers face is that their work is never done. Not to say they don’t complete projects or solve problems, but the world of work is ever evolving, and spaces need to constantly be flexing with the changing needs of the workforce. I sat down with Rachel Casanova, Bill Dowzer and Joseph Geierman to discuss how, specifically, workplace leaders are creating spaces that adapt in law firms and how every facility leader can take note of what’s been working and apply it to their own space.  

Workplace Strategy & Design For Professional Services & Law Firms

Rachel Casanova Senior Managing Director for Workplace Innovation for Cushman & Wakefield
Bill Dowzer | Principal at BVN Architecture

“I think the challenge is to create a long-term, operational-focused conversation.” 
“Moving away definitely from the idea of set-and-forget, or that a project is finished. You’ve got to imagine that the space is alive for the whole period of your occupation.”

Both Rachel and Bill definitely understand the unique needs of law firms when it comes to workplace design and culture change. In both of their lines of work, they focus on the workplace experience, organizational culture and innovation – in the often traditional environment of law. Both Rachel and Bill explain during the podcast that no matter what industry you’re in, one size does not fit all, and workplace leaders must seek to empower people to make choices to work in different ways while still coming together to collaborate. Attracting and retaining top talent at law firms is a priority, so Rachel and Bill explore how designing an architectural environment with transparency can create opportunities, impact culture, and drive behaviors that bring people together!

As workplace leaders some of the challenges Rachel and Bill are facing are they’re trying to bring people together, and how can they create an effective environment that “empowers people to be able to make choices to work in different ways.” When it comes to law firms in particular, collaboration isn’t just “group think” but it’s how professionals come together to solve challenges, and they need space to do that. How lawyers and most workplace professionals do that has changed dramatically. As workplace leaders for law firms or any professional environment, it’s our job to understand how people want to work and give them the tools they need do work in that way. 

We also touch on a key reminder that even if you perfect the strategy now, it’s impossible to make that last. You have to create spaces that can grow and flex with the changing needs of your workforce. Like Bill said, you almost have to imagine that the “space is alive” and continually adjust plans to keep it running at its optimal level. 

Flexible Design Considerations & Workplace Strategies For Law Firms 

Joseph Geierman | Director of Real Estate and Facilities, Troutman Sanders

“Flexibility is something that we’re really keen on, because we aren’t sure what the business of law is going to look like in a few years. Having a way to have more flexible law firm space as far as lease terms go is going to be important and we’re still struggling towards that.”


Mike Petrusky

Mike Petrusky is host of the “Workplace Innovator Podcast” and Director of Events and Growth Marketing at iOFFICE. He joined iOFFICE in March of 2018 with a mission to energize the company’s live events. He is a dynamic speaker, podcaster, and seasoned marketer who has a passion for sharing iOFFICE’s unique brand of thought leadership to CRE & FM leaders in the digital workplace.

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