Peer to Peer Magazine

December 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 59 of 111

Managing the Workplace for Productivity by Marcia Hart | Roomtag It's no longer enough to make sure every lawyer has a well-furnished office — the bigger the better. That lawyer might work anywhere. She needs to set up client events and conferences, get files and equipment delivered to her hotel room, see and be seen by colleagues and associates. Facilities, in collaboration with IT, provides the foundation for the new workplace, seamlessly combining both physical and virtual resources to optimize lawyer productivity. Law firm leaders recognize the relationship between operations and profitability. Firms are paying closer attention to the bottom line. Performance reporting, cost control measures and real estate consolidation efforts are now expected. Logistical support for visiting attorneys, mobile and temporary staff, and conference coordination has increased as technology tools make alternative work solutions feasible. At the same time, reductions in administrative staffing mean everyone is doing more complex work with fewer people and higher stakes than ever before. To keep up with daily logistics, interdepartmental communication and strategic initiatives, the best facilities departments use integrated software tools instead of manual floor plans and disconnected spreadsheets. Continuous improvement is a necessity as workplace demands continue to grow and evolve. To deliver the physical infrastructure that lawyers need to be successful, facilities teams work collaboratively across departments and across the firm. Facilities personnel balance efficiency and productivity with clear policies, smooth logistics, tight communication and smart planning. It's A Team Effort To manage the physical workplace requirements, including logistics, policies, special projects and strategic planning, facilities staff coordinate with other administrative departments and legal practice groups. The shared goal is to maximize total firm productivity and minimize unnecessary costs. This chart demonstrates how other firm departments work with facilities: Task/Area Coordination Team Office assignments Practice managers, Firm leaders Space-planning for growth, consolidation, summers, special projects, etc. Firm leaders New hires and departures HR, IT Asset controls Accounting, Purchasing Conference services IT, Telecomm Cost control Purchasing, Space committee Lease management and negotiations Space committee Moves and changes IT, Practice managers Records management Information services In the workplace, everyone needs a space to work, technology tools, access to information and opportunities to interact. As electronic and mobile solutions capabilities have grown, the workplace has evolved, and so too has the role of facilities personnel. Peer to Peer 61

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