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Membership Appreciation Month Tip: Lawin' in Style - Office Edition

If you have a subscription to Veranda magazine...or home-design-related boards on Pinterest...or love watching HGTV — today is your (D4S) day — because today, we're talking office style.

Different Strokes for Different Folks. Gone is a one-size-fits-all office. Legal office settings are just as varied as the different areas of law practiced. One person may have the corner office in a Chicago highrise while another is working from a home office in Mt. Vernon. Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum, your office environment contributes to your overall happiness and productivity.

For those of you who accomplished last week's decluttering challenge, you're ready to move on to the next step in creating an office that not only works for you but also gives you #goodfeels.

Looking to update the look of your entire law firm?

Check out the trendy design of Strauss & Malk LLP's Lake Forest Office on Houzz.

Design by Lisa Wolfe Design Ltd. Reprinted with permission from Strauss & Malk LLP.

Make Your Office as Welcoming as Your Home. I recently spent 5 months working from home during the remodel of the ISBA's Springfield office. It was glorious. Upon my return, I decided to bring in a little bit of what made my home office so great, like:

  • Better Lighting: My new desk lamp counters the harsh overhead lights (12 potlights in total) and seems to help with the computer eye strain I was experiencing as well.
  • Personal but Professional Decor: A large piece of artwork, a few silver and wood accents, a vintage Kentucky Derby cup to corral my pens, and a few beautifully framed photos of my beloved niece — these make me happy and comfortable in my surroundings.
  • Lumbar Cushion: This little pillow helps alleviate back pain and improves my posture. I also put them on the guest chairs in my office so others can enjoy them as well.
  • Healthy Goodies: I stash bottles of San Pellegrino on a shelf and fruit in a decorative bowl on my desk to ward off trips to the soda fridge downstairs and candy bowl next door.

Since making my office area my own, I've noticed that I'm not the only one who likes spending more time in here. Our advertising manager dropped by shortly after I finished and asked if she could spend a few minutes in my office to enjoy the welcoming surroundings. Mission accomplished.

Does your office reflect who you are and make a positive impression on others? If not, are there little things you could do to make a big impact? 

3 Office Design Elements to Improve Your Happiness and Productivity. In reading through articles about how office design affects overall wellbeing, I came across three common elements that have the biggest affect on your overall happiness:

  • Lighting: Working in bad lighting is not only hard on the eyes but makes you sleepy. Natural lighting is the best if you can get it.
  • Color: Certain colors stimulate creativity while others give you a sense of calmness.
  • Nature: Having a plant around not only helps relieve mental and physiological fatigue but helps remove toxins from the air you breathe.

Hopefully you'll be able to incorporate one or more of these ideas into making your office somewhere you look forward to spending time.

And if you have any great ideas about office space design and decor that you'd like to share, be sure to post it in the comments below.

Additional Resources:

Office Decor Changes That Will Make You Happier by Sarah Landrum

Designing Your Law Office to Save Money and Boost Productivity - Without Sacrificing Style by Jenny B. Davis

Law Office Design on Pinterest

Posted on May 11, 2017 by Sara Anderson
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