On-Demand Office Space

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij on Pexels.com

There are many options when it comes to on-demand office space. You can rent a conference room or a private office to limit access from other people. Or you can work in a row with other remote employees. Attorney Yuriy Moshes offers a few things to consider when choosing flexible office space.

On-Demand Office Environments for Legal Business — NWSidebar

 

In his NWSidebar post, Moshes gives four solid reasons to consider flex or co-working space: privacy, safety, convenient working conditions, and most importantly: big savings. When evaluating your options, Moshes suggests focusing on location and networking potential. Private space is key, both for client confidentiality and proper social distancing. Read the full post here.

Flex Space in Oregon

I last wrote about flex space three years ago. As I mentioned then, there are free and low-cost options statewide and in the Portland Metro Area. COVID-19 has affected some, but not all meeting sites.

Closed

The Oregon Lawyers’ Conference Room in downtown Portland is a free meeting space courtesy of the PLF and Oregon Attorney Assistance Program. Due to COVID-19, it is currently closed, as are the OSB Center meeting rooms.

Open

Alternatively, the MBA Conference Room is open for MBA members. Contact the MBA for details and availability at 503.222.3275 or mba@mbabar.org. Remember to download and submit the MBA Conference Room Use Form as part of your reservation.

Outside PDX

The PLF historically maintained a list of  “Oregon Meeting Rooms” on its website. When the Oregon Lawyers’ Conference Room was up and operating, this resource was on the same page, under the heading “Other Options for Meeting Space – Metro Area | Statewide.”  With the joint PLF/OAAP closure notice, the link to the list is no longer there. If you’re looking for free or inexpensive meeting space outside the Portland metro area, contact the PLF practice management advisors or other PLF Risk Management employees and request a PDF of this resource. It will be critical to call in advance as not all meeting rooms may be open.

All Rights Reserved 2020 Beverly Michaelis

Flex Space and Other Meeting Options for the Home-Based Practitioner

Practicing from home has its challenges, chief among them finding a place to meet with clients.

Until recent years, meeting options were fairly limited. Some lawyers elected to pay for an executive suite.  Others borrowed a colleague’s conference room, met clients at their location, or gritted their teeth and used coffee shops.  A few lawyers invited clients into their homes.

woman-with-laptop

Traditional Meeting Options Aren’t the Greatest

Executive suites are fine, if you can afford one.  Using someone else’s conference room is hit or miss. Going to your client’s location can be a nice touch, but isn’t always optimal. Be prepared for interruptions from others vying for your client’s attention.

Coffee shops are bad for the obvious reason (confidentiality) and some would add they are unprofessional.

Seeing clients in your home?  I am not a fan.  You are sacrificing your privacy and the privacy of everyone else you live with.  In addition, most jurisdictions require a special permit and a business license.  In addition to the fees involved, your special permit may carry a long list of conditions and standards.  Tigard’s “home occupation permit” is an example.  Also be prepared to purchase a rider on your homeowner’s policy adding premises liability coverage for business invitees.  (If you’re a renter, the same would apply to your renter’s insurance – assuming you are allowed by the terms of your rental agreement or lease to operate a business on the premises.)  Have I discouraged you yet? Good. I’m all for working at home.  I’m only opposed to seeing clients at home.

Flex and Co-Working Spaces

Fortunately, there are a growing number of flex space and co-working options. What makes them different from an executive suite? You can book co-working space, a business center, or shared space by the hour, day, or month on-demand through a website.  Think of it as Airbnb for client meetings.

Here are two to consider: ShareDesk and LiquidSpace.  Both are good solutions for meeting space in larger metro areas, or if you need to set up a meeting out of state.  As they catch on,  I suspect options in less populated areas will become available too.

In the Portland metro area, take a look at:

Another possibility is Regus meeting rooms by the hour.  (Regus is a long-time competitor in the executive suite business.  A quick check of their site shows meeting rooms available in Portland, not elsewhere in Oregon. Perhaps a better option for out-of-state business meetings… ?)

Some flex spaces require membership or give perks and discounts to members. Depending on specifics, this may end up making them very similar to an executive suite.

Statewide Meeting Options in Oregon

If you don’t know about the “Oregon Meeting Rooms” list on the Professional Liability Fund website you’re missing out.  Visit the website, select Practice Management, then Oregon Lawyers’ Conference Room.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and locate the heading “Other Options for Meeting Space – Metro Area | Statewide.”  A link to the meeting list appears here. It contains four pages of options for free or inexpensive meeting space made available by libraries, bar associations, and courthouses throughout Oregon.  The state is well-covered, with meeting options in places like Dallas, Lakeview, and Vale in addition to the valley, coast, central Oregon, and larger cities in eastern Oregon.

Portland Metro Area Choices

  • The Oregon Lawyers’ Conference Room is free meeting space courtesy of the PLF and Oregon Attorney Assistance Program. To learn more, visit the PLF website, select Practice Management, then Oregon Lawyers’ Conference Room.
  • The Multnomah Bar Association makes its conference room available at no charge to members.  Read about the conference room use policy here.
  • The Oregon State Bar offers meeting rooms on an hourly, half-day, and full-day basis.  Extensive amenities; check the website for rates.
  • Naegeli Deposition & Trial generously makes its conference room available to Oregon lawyers.  Contact Naegli by phone for more information: (800) 528-3335.
  • Specialty bar groups may also be willing to lend out their conference rooms – make a phone call if you want to pursue this option.

All Rights Reserved Beverly Michaelis 2017