Office of the future beckons for MK law firm

Shoosmiths, one of the UK’s largest national law firms with 13 offices across the UK, is creating an ‘office of the future’ in Milton Keynes.

The project is well underway and will see the firm move its 120 staff from its current office on Midsummer Boulevard to a new state-of-the-art commercial office building at 100 Avebury Boulevard in central Milton Keynes.

Developed by local property developer AW James, the building will provide seven floors of office space, with Shoosmiths occupying the top floor, from early 2020.

The firm has involved staff in its work with a leading external design agency to ensure that the new office is a modern, inspiring workspace reflecting the multi-generational workforce suiting both staff and clients.

The 17,000 sq ft space will incorporate a ‘luxury industrial vibe’ and feature sit/stand desks, concentration booths, sofa ‘break out’ areas and an outside terrace. Staff will be encouraged to work in an environment of their choice each day, depending on what they have on and where they feel they will be the most productive.

As well as modern workspaces and décor, the new office will also break away from the traditional reception desk. Instead, it will provide a concierge experience, offering a meet and greet service and encourage visitors and clients to use the coffee lounge while they wait.

As part of the design process, Shoosmiths’ staff were asked a series of questions, including ‘what does an office of the future look like to you?’ and ‘what three words describe where you would want to work?’. These responses were then sent on to the design agency in the form of a word cloud graphic as part of the brief.

Robin Webb, Head of the Milton Keynes office, said: “We’ve had an office in Milton Keynes for 19 years now. Our lease was coming to an end at our current premises and we knew we wanted to move to a premier development in the heart of Milton Keynes. We looked at what was available on the market and the 7th floor of 100 Avebury Boulevard was the stand out option with its double height windows, terrace and views across the Milton Keynes skyline. It also brings a real ‘city feel’ with it, which we hope will help us to attract new talent from London and other big cities as we continue our growth agenda.”

Catherine Williams, Deputy Head of the Milton Keynes office, added: “We wanted to create a next generation workplace that provides a stimulating environment for our talented people and reflects the quality of clients we act for and work that we do. Not only that, it will enhance staff and client experience and our brand enormously.”

Client experience is something that has also been carefully considered when designing the new space, with three separate client journeys mapped out depending on the type of client that will be visiting the office.

“This move will make us better placed to serve clients – both locally and nationally – and provides us with a better environment to demonstrate how we work as a firm,” said Catherine.

“Not only will this new office be an amazing space for our staff and clients to come to every day, but it shows that we are investing significantly in Milton Keynes as a place to do business,” adds Robin. “To celebrate what will be our 20th year in MK with a move to the best office space in town, at a time when Milton Keynes and the surrounding area is thriving and the opportunities presented by the Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire and MK corridor are opening doors, is really exciting.”

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