For an attorney, working in an executive suites NYC office can be like living in an apartment building where you never meet your neighbors.
Executive suites are generally pretty nice facilities.
Will you get…
…a commercial office building with a fancy lobby? Good chance.
…nicely appointed reception and conference rooms? More than likely.
…accommodating staff? You bet.
…a fancy coffee maker with color LED lights and foaming milk? Absolutely.
…a collaborative work environment that adds real value to your practice (like referrals or co-counsel opportunities)? Huh? Not a chance.
For attorneys, a collaborative work environment leads to referrals.
Easily collaborating with office mates is the best feature of renting a shared office space. When you work alongside many other professionals every day, it’s easy to exchange referrals or collaborate on projects.
Attorneys should expect their New York executive suite office space to be as monetarily productive as a junior associate. And just as your junior associate has billable hours requirements to be profitable, your office space should be held to the same standard. Over the course of a year you should expect to receive at least enough economic value from your office (through referrals and other opportunities) to pay for your rental fees.
But in order for this to happen, the office suite must have a culture of collegiality. In an executive suite, collegiality starts with the suite’s management. Management must set the tone that it is acceptable, if not encouraged, for officemates interact with each other. If management leads by example, tenants will follow.
Most New York executive office suites do nut understand the attorney culture.
Yet, what you commonly find in business centers is a culture that is identically similar to living in a high rise doorman apartment building. You can live in an apartment building for years and never meet any of your neighbors. In fact, most apartment dwellers actively ignore their neighbors and it’s totally acceptable behavior.
Working in executive center can be exactly like this. Except for some occasional small talk with the receptionist, most tenants proceed to their office, close the door behind them and spend the rest of their day working in a “closed-door-solitude.”
There is very little interaction, and accordingly there is very little opportunity for collaboration.
Executive suite staff generally do a great job of getting to know each client. They just do a lousy job of getting clients to know each other.