Will Office Space Become Obsolete?

With remote work on the rise, will office space become obsolete?

According to a study done by Boston Consulting Group, ‘1.5 billion square feet of office space could become obsolete’, with low utilization, high vacancy levels, and financial viability slipping away for many.

Here at Amata we provide office spaces for law firms and professional services companies in Chicago, so this is a trend that could deeply affect us. But the reason why we’re not worried (and actually feel hopeful for the future), is because we have lived this already through the pandemic and found that Office Space will not become obsolete, it just needs to twist to effectively serve the new demands of the market.

Enter The New Era of Office Space

During the pandemic one of our natural worries was, “Will people stop needing an office?”. And contrary to our fears, Amata grew and today we serve more than 800 clients all over Chicago.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • While companies had to go fully remote for some years, many have realized that this is not a sustainable work arrangement for them. Their associates desire human connection, a dedicated space where they can be productive, and the prestige that comes from an office in downtown Chicago.
  • This means that most solo and small law firms today are either working on-site or with hybrid arrangements.
  • Hybrid companies are giving their team members the option to choose between remote work or on-site work. 


The 2022 Practice Forward Report by The American Bar Association found that 44% of lawyers practicing 10 years or less were more likely to leave their current job for one that offers a greater ability to work remotely. At the other end of the age spectrum, only 13% of those practicing over 40 years would leave their place of employment for the greater ability to work remotely.

This means that there is a clear generational divide, where more established lawyers desire to work at the office while younger generations work more flexible options. This is why hybrid companies choose to retain talent by giving their employees options.

But how can they keep an office space without spending excessively or being locked by a 5-year lease?

At Amata, we help them with our flexible plans which allow them to add or drop office space during the term of the contract, without penalty, so they can scale up and down as their company grows. This means that they can add new team members or create a leaner team without being worried about unutilized office space or relocating.

We also provide Hybrid companies solutions that match their desired flexibility, such as conference rooms for the day, support staff on-demand (only pay what you need), mail handling, and networking events.

  • Even fully remote companies can benefit from some physicality. For example, listing your home as your official business address can hurt credibility in the eyes of clients, and also not be the best idea for safety reasons.

    That is why at Amata we provide remote companies a virtual business address, so that clients associate your organization with Class A, prominent office buildings in the Chicago area. A virtual business address also entitles you to receive correspondence at the location and enjoy mail processing and forwarding from the on-site staff.

What we have found is that office space will not become obsolete, it just needs to be reimagined. Lawyers and professionals want a healthier work/life balance, and they want office spaces that provide it.

That is why our unique model at Amata offers:

  • Flexibility – Programs that allow you to cancel offices during a contract term.
  • Hourly paralegals that work as if they are on your staff.
  • Administrative assistants that work with you virtually and in person, depending on your needs and circumstances.
  • Quarterly office socials to make new acquaintances and build relationships with others working in the center.
  • Monthly attorney socials with over 800 attorneys involved to expand your network and business opportunities.
  • Paralegal assistants that go to city hall, the Recorders Office and deliver courtesy copies to judges for you.
  • Live receptionists that can screen your calls, handle new client in-take and greet your guests.
  • Easy access to decision-makers and owners of Amata.
  • Notary/witness service program at all locations; plus a remote notary/witness service program that includes video recording.
  • Conference room usage is not rounded up to the nearest hour. You only pay for time you use in 15-minute increments

All so you can:

        • Maintain profitability: When your revenue goes down, as a business owner you need to reduce expenses to maintain profit. Amata provides flexibility in order to achieve this in your office space costs (which are a large chunk of expenses).
        • Access office space on your own terms: Amata provides 12-month lease terms with a 30-day notice to adjust office space. This provides a key ability to reduce costs and maintain profitability when needed.
        • Be fully supported as you grow: Whether you’re doing a virtual or physical office, Amata provides on-demand (hourly) support services in the form of admin assistants, paralegals, receptionists, and business phone / phone app services that you get tasks off your to-do lists and back to growing your business.

So if you are a small law firm considering not renewing your office lease, try Amata. Our model is designed with you in mind: To give you modern offices that boost your team’s productivity and your firm’s prestige, while protecting your bottom line and giving you a support team that grows as your firm grows.

Contact us today to see how our virtual and on-site, flexible office plans can help you scale.

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