Law Office Decor
As attorneys, many of us spend more time at our offices than we do at home. But what does our office decor say about us? Most lawyers hang their diplomas and admissions certificates on the walls. Occasionally there is a family photo, a name plate or business card holder. Your office may look remarkably similar to this:
In his article Got The Right Stuff? Scott Reeves noted, “[a]sk several people what the junk in Joe’s office says about good old Joe and you’re likely to get several different answers. So, think of office decor as the first take on a person whose personality will unfold over time as the working relationship develops.”
An associate at a local firm recently started a new job and brought her office decor to work in two suitcases. She spent an hour arranging artwork, photos, a clock, lamps, etc. At first the other attorneys in her office questioned her decor. How could she break from the sterile mahogany bliss? A week later she noticed the other attorneys on her floor decorating their offices. She explained that this was not the first work place where this phenomenon unfolded.
Are attorneys afraid to express themselves at work? Does our profession discourage even the slightest demonstration of a personal life or outside interest for fear that it may be perceived as unprofessional and/or a distraction from what we are able to accomplish at work?
Karin Eldor of AskMen.com noted, “[t]he key to decorating your office is maintaining that perfect blend of professional and personal. Always keep in mind that this is still your office, and you want it to look like a place of full concentration, especially when clients or higher-ups pay you a visit (even if you are the higher-up). But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself while you’re there, by mixing business with pleasure.”
Eldor encouraged: “[u]se your office decoration as a way to make the time spent working indoors a little more enjoyable and stress-free, but always remember to keep it professional and remain within the corporate image of your company. Remember, the more you enjoy your office, the more you’ll want to be there.” Eldor recommended adding a personal touch by decorating with rugs, appropriate art, plants, lamps, frames and clocks.
I’ll leave you to examine your own office. Look around - is it sterile and boring? Or comfortable and formal? Are you willing to make it your home away from home?