My office does not have four walls. My office does not have a door. My office does not even have a desk and a chair.
My office is a small black bag from IKEA that I carry over my shoulder.
For those who like details, here are the numbers. A 14 inch ASUS laptop fits inside that bag, as does a portable scanner. A copy of the Rules of Civil Procedure (along with other rules and statutes), together with commentary, occupies just 382 MB of space on my hard drive, and my accounting software occupies another 534 MB. While I still have one physical filing cabinet at home, every document I create and every document I receive ends up paperless, is backed up constantly in the Cloud and all of it takes up just 35 GB – even another two hundred thousand pages of documents won’t weigh an extra ounce more when I carry them around. When I need it, a battery-powered, portable printer the size of a box of chocolates comes along with me.
My office is wherever I happen to be, and wherever I need to be. My office is in a client’s living room or kitchen, at their own office, or in a courthouse hallway. My office doesn’t charge me exorbitant rent that I then have to pass along to my clients as part of my fees. My office doesn’t make clients travel across town in traffic and pay $20.00 an hour for parking just to see me. My business address is a shared reception area that costs me one hundred and twenty dollars each month, lets me get courier and other personal deliveries during business hours no matter where I happen to be, and I can access my mailbox 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And when I need a small physical office or even a boardroom for a meeting, I can rent one by the hour, when I need it, for less than it costs me to park downtown for the day – also 24/7.
There was a time when people looked to spend as little time at their office as possible, preferring leisure time over work. Now my office follows me around, like the shell on a turtle, but instead of feeling like a constant burden, my office is liberating. I can work when and where I need to, saving me and my clients both time and money, and my focus is on doing the work and not on working just to pay for physical space that impresses nobody. I can be faster and more efficient for my clients, and my practice is mobile and flexible so that I serve my clients’ particular needs.
My office is a small black bag from IKEA, and for the first time in over a quarter century of practicing law, I’ve got an office that I look forward to seeing every day.
And because my office is wherever I happen to be, it comes with a wonderful, ever-changing view.