With an eye toward hybrid work and pandemic safety protocols, Minneapolis-based law firm Henson Efron has moved from U.S. Bank Plaza to a smaller office in neighboring Capella Tower.
“Even though the events of the last year have been devastating, downtown Minneapolis is a hub of our economy and industry,” said Henson Efron president and attorney Lisa Spencer in a news release. “We are confident that downtown will flourish again.”
Spencer said Henson Efron did have the option to move away from downtown, but the close proximity to courthouses and corporate clients was too important to let go. She also noted that the firm wanted to reduce its footprint with the move. The new location, just across South 6th Street, spans 15 percent less space than the U.S. Bank Plaza office.
“Even though the space is smaller, it feels more open because of the design elements, including use of glass walls,” Spencer said. “It’s bright, contemporary, and technically innovative—that’s our culture.”
Although Henson Efron has been successful in a remote work model over the past 15 months, Spencer acknowledged that in-person interaction is still essential and irreplaceable for business.
“The legal practice is creative, innovative work; it needs contact, interaction, and spontaneous conversation,” Spencer said. “Remotely, we miss out on that. A Zoom meeting or phone call is just not the same.”
Staff began working in the new office on May 17. Spencer said the company envisions being back to maximum capacity after Labor Day. But, like many companies, the firm will embrace and encourage an in-person/remote hybrid model going forward.
“We’re giving people the summer to figure out this transition and to get comfortable—even myself. I’m not coming in every day yet,” Spencer said. “We want people to feel comfortable saying, ‘I don’t feel well today. I feel well enough to work, but I should stay home.’”
Henson Efron worked with ESG Architecture & Design on the layout of the new space.
The Capella Tower office follows standard Covid-19 protocols—a necessity for the post-pandemic modern workplace. Workstations are spread out with high glass dividers in place for social distancing. Although the workspaces are smaller, Spencer said employees have found the design to be more efficient and functional.
“Overall, the space is inviting and open.” Spencer said. “Clients will also like the convenient underground parking and increased security and first floor amenities.”
Spencer said they hope to stay at Capella Tower indefinitely.
Henson Efron is not the only company dedicated to bringing downtown Minneapolis back. Last September, Deluxe Corp., inventor of the checkbook, announced its HQ relocation to Marquette Avenue. In March, the Dayton’s Project landed professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP as its first tenant.