This month we focus on The Future of Work and the rise of the co-working arena. Having seen her share of workplaces in her career across international and Australian first-tier law firms, we decided to ask resident Amanda Davidson about her work life and her practice, now residing at Paramount by The Office Space.
Amanda, you have been a partner at some of the top law firms here and abroad, can you tell us how you have seen the workplace change over the last 30 years?
There have been huge changes over that time. In the old days, law firm partners had palatial corner offices, huge intimidating desks and on entering young lawyers could expect to be met by a fog of cigar smoke, and sometimes the faint clink of ice in a scotch glass. Most firms now have a much more egalitarian approach to the allocation of offices, with smaller offices and more efficient workspaces being the norm. The smoke and scotch has given way to yoga classes, nutritional and healthy options for breakfast, snacks and lunch and catered kitchens where restaurant quality food and service is regularly on offer for client functions.
As a lawyer, and a Partner, you are working extremely long hours. What is important for you in a work space and what have been positive features of previous working environments?
As we spend half of our lives at work, it’s important that the space is inspirational. I have always loved artwork and flowers in a working environment, and of course loads of efficient and clever storage for all of those files! As a young lawyer I was lucky enough to spend 7 years at Allens, who have an amazing art collection. I have tried to replicate that in my own small way in other spaces.
In 2015 you received the Medal of the Order of Australia. Can you tell us about how you received this award?
I received the Order of Australia for the work that I have done over the past 16 years in my role as Chair of the Preeclampsia Research Laboratories (PEARLS), for services to maternal health.
Tell us about this important work that you do, and why its so important to you?
PEARLS was established to raise funds for important medical research into the cause of preeclampsia, the most common complication of pregnancy – which essentially manifests itself as high blood pressure associated with other symptoms. Preeclampsia is the biggest killer of mothers and babies in the world today affecting about 1 in 10 pregnancies. To put it into perspective – globally a woman dies every 11 minutes from preeclampsia and a baby dies roughly every 45 seconds. This issue is important for so many reasons. I suffered from preeclampsia myself, and I am lucky enough to have survived, and to be in a position to work on ensuring that this devastating condition is eradicated forever.
You have worked in a range of environments, be it high corporate arenas to home offices. Your practice is now based at Paramount by The Office Space. How did you choose to work here and what do you love about the space?
When I established the Davidson, Legal Consulting Advisory business last year I was looking for an environment which represented the brand message that I wanted to portray. The location, style and physical beauty of Paramount by The Office Space is completely consistent with that brand. We are a small business servicing the best of the best in the construction industry. The space reflects the quality of our brand and speaks to the industry we service.
Dealing with some major heavyweights in the construction world and delivering some impressive initiatives in a high pressure environment, you need a workplace that supports you personally and professionally. How does The Office Space support you in this?
The Office Space is a community which provides a space where people can interact and grow their businesses. Not only that, the team are amazing – everything is handled with finesse and consummate professionalism. Every aspect of experience at the Office Space is designed with the client in mind. It’s the way we like to do business, and at Paramount the client is just that.