The law firm's new office is both a downsize and an upgrade, accomplished with a conservative budget.
Once its lease was up in the PNC Bank building, law firm Roetzel & Andress began searching for a new home on Capitol Square. After weighing options such as the Capitol Square building, Fifth Third Center and One Columbus Center, Roetzel decided on another bank building on the opposite side of the capitol. Their new home in the Huntington Center has given them the opportunity to both tastefully upgrade and downsize, reducing their footprint by about 27 percent. Included in the downsize are both space and paper, with personal offices that are a bit smaller and electronic filing. Even the lights are different: they turn off when no one is working under them, and they last 15 years.
Aesthetically, a slightly burnt orange unifies the space—except for the 20 lawyers' offices, which each occupant was given the opportunity to make his or her own.
“We all chose our inner-office furniture and art,” says Melissa Hoeffel, partner-in-charge. “The other thing we did is we allowed folks to pick an accent color on their wall, so you could personalize it a little bit.” Her office is decked out with a collection of bright pink chairs. “It's very pink in here,” she adds.
Some big hits around the office—separated into quads—are the kitchen and café area and a laid back room called the “Capitol Lounge,” so named for its direct view of the Statehouse. Most design decisions were made corporately by a committee of voters, and the lounge in particular has the employee seal of approval.
“The way we came up with this room is we interviewed our younger lawyers, the millennials, and we said, ‘What kind of office space would you like?'—really focused on building office space for the future,” says Hoeffel. “They liked the soft seating and the ability to move around with their laptops as opposed to being in their office all day long. It's also a more comfortable place to have meetings, rather than sitting across from each other in a big conference room setting. This is much more comfortable for folks having discussions. And we use it for internal parties. We had a pizza party and decorated our Christmas tree.”
The vision for the office also includes a concept that is bright and airy and unlike the traditional law-firm look of dark wood and colors—“But we didn't want to go too far in the other direction,” says Hoeffel. “We wanted to remain conservative, but we also wanted to be updated.”
The lobby is guests' first glimpse of that vision realized.
“In our lobby, we really wanted it to be open, so when you got off the elevator you were able to look to the left and to the right and see outside. There used to be a big wall here, and we gutted the entire floor. We really wanted the light, openness.”
Other office tweaks include healthy additions like stand-up desks and real plants, video-conferencing capabilities in conference rooms and a speaker system that is wired throughout the entire space. Each quad has a “huddle space” to promote collaboration; there is a wellness room for those in need of a private break. And all of these new accoutrements were added on a conservative budget, says Hoeffel.
The best tweak, though, is the closer proximity of coworkers. “I love that we are all on one floor,” Hoeffel says. “In our former office space we were on the 11th and 12th floor, so a lot of times we didn't get to see other people unless you went down to 11 or up to 12. So I like that we are closer together and can see everyone in the office more.”