Who needs an office? Law firms believe every lawyer does. But BigLaw is increasingly out of synch with corporate America in this view. 

Rolling Out The Instant Office in Business Week (5/7/07) reports that about “60% of the office space that companies pay so dearly for is now a dead zone of darkened doorways and wasting cubes. The age of on-demand projects is creating a need for on-demand offices.”

The article suggests that office space management today will follow worker management in the 80s and 90s: outsourcing and temps. Technology enables huge flexibility in where people work and managing occupancy. “The idea of the office as a static thing is crumbling.”

Law firms have yet to hear this message. A move to working virtually, however, would save occupancy costs while also making lawyers’ lives easier. This can translate to higher profits via lower turnover. Working virtually does not necessarily mean at home. It can mean suburban satellite offices, which also offer significant business continuity benefits.