5 ways to make the most of your unused office space
Now is the perfect time to downsize and bring your law firm into its next era—coworking and subleasing
With much of the state of Colorado starting to get back to life while still navigating a global pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of large law firms with unused office space.
Figuring out how to best maximize your space to get the most out of your work environment can be challenging. But you may want to consider thinking outside of the box when it comes to the future of your law firm.
The beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic may not seem like the perfect time to start a new career path.
Still, if the coronavirus taught Coloradans anything, it’s that you must go after the things that you are passionate about now—not ten years from now.
If your law firm lost some promising attorneys to a smaller practice or if they became solo practitioners, you may have found yourself with unused office space.
Now is the perfect time to downsize and bring your law firm into its next era—coworking and subleasing.
Here are the top 5 things you should do to make the most of your firm’s unused office space.
Determine Shadow Space
Shadow space refers to any space that is being leased but not utilized. For example, maybe you are leasing a large office building off I-25. The building might have the capacity for fifty offices, but your law firm is currently only utilizing thirty-seven of them.
Those other fourteen offices (the empty ones you are not using) are your shadow space. Once you know how much space you have available for subleasing, you’ll be able to work more closely with a leasing professional.
Connect With an Office Sharing Provider
You might be trying to scrimp and save after dealing with considerable financial struggles related to the pandemic but working with the right subleasing provider is something you can’t afford not to do. It is never a good idea to try to lease your shadow space on your own.
You need to properly vet potential tenants, write up lease agreements, and otherwise prepare your space for subleasing. If you try to do it yourself, you might find yourself taken advantage of.
Whether a potential tenant turns out to be a poor fit or your lease agreement has issues, you can avoid these issues by having a reputable office sharing provider handle your subleasing or coworking space.
Secure a Clear Lease Agreement
It is essential that the lease agreement your office sharing provider drafts be clear and specifically outlines the specific terms of your coworking space. In shared space environments like these, it will be necessary to distinctly outline what spaces your subletters will be able to utilize.
Can they use copy rooms, printers, and scanners? What bathroom spaces are available? Is there a lobby they can utilize for their clients? What about receptionists, utilities, and secured WiFi?
The great thing about subleasing is that you can decide which spaces you want to make available as shared spaces. Your office sharing provider will be responsible for drafting these agreements with your law firm’s interests in mind.
Consider Lawyer-Only Coworking
You have the option of subleasing your space to anyone who you may consider to be a viable tenant. But one way that more and more law firms are utilizing their subleasing opportunities is through lawyer-only coworking.
These are communities of smaller law firms and solo practitioners who will often practice in a complimentary practice area. This creates opportunities for your firm to network and even participate in attorney mentorship programs.
In addition, you can hand-select the tenants you share space with. Your work environment will feel more focused and driven to succeed when you can surround yourself with like-minded individuals.
Prepare for Flexibility
Subleasing is an excellent option for law firms interested in remaining flexible. For example, you may be interested in downsizing your firm for now, but if you decide to expand in 2022, you’ll be glad you chose flexible sublease agreements. Or maybe you will decide to continue downsizing and focus instead of maintaining your office space as a coworking environment.
No matter what your professional needs are, the flexibility of subleasing could be the best way to build your law firm back up after a tumultuous year in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Designed with your law firm’s needs in mind, coworking and subleasing can allow you to imagine what direction your law firm could go into the near and distant future.
Maximize Your Law Firm’s Opportunities for Success
When your law firm has vacant office space, you have an opportunity to obtain additional income and invest in your practice through networking with your peers and potentially mentoring promising attorneys.
Utilize your vacant office space by subleasing and co-working with like-minded lawyers in Denver, Colorado.
There are organizations that can handle all of the details of your lease agreement while you’re doing what you do best— advocating for your clients.
Jordan Deifik and Jay Kamlet are Colorado-based commercial real estate professionals. They co-own LawBank, the largest and oldest shared office space for lawyers in the Mountain West. LawBank has multiple locations in the Denver metro area and Downtown Las Vegas and offers flexible leasing options to attorneys throughout the region. LawBank also assists larger law firms sublet their vacant office space with small law firm tenants. Learn more about LawBank’s amenities, and the Las Vegas and Denver locations.