Relocating Sax LLP to a new Headquarters

Parsippany, NJ

Sax LLP has been operating in a very traditional office environment for years: large private offices on the perimeter, high-walled workstations, and few amenities. Professional service firms all over the country—like KPMG at their 560 Lexington Avenue location, Energy Capital Partners at their new Headquarters, or RegentAtlantic at their new office—have been moving away from such a set-up for a number of years now, but it was only recently that Sax concluded that such changes might be right for them. They came to Mancini to see how we could implement this approach for a new office in northern New Jersey.

We don’t push clients into office concepts that aren’t right for them, no matter how trendy they may be. And Sax is run under some admirably time-tested principles: executives feel strongly that the firm should be a place where junior partners can learn the ropes, grow, and stay at the firm until they retire. So we weren’t interested in vouching for office concepts that might alienate its workforce—not any more than Sax was.

Getting a Feel for What Sax LLP Wants and Needs

With all that in mind, we engaged Sax in a lengthy fact-finding phase to discover its workforce’s appetite for a change. A visioning session with 30 junior partners found there was a pretty sizable one. They still viewed the perimeter private office as an important perk, but were open to other suggestions. They also wanted more daylight, more places for communal activity, more things that make a stay at the office pleasant. Armed with our findings, we began an extensive site search, investigating five locations for their “fit” potential. The one our team arrived was Latitude, a two-building complex at 389 Interpace Parkway in Parsippany, New Jersey, undergoing an exhaustive modernization process to improve light access throughout and the array of communal areas and amenities within.

Designing for Long-Term Change while Respecting Sax LLP’s Unique Outlook

The 35,000-square-foot office we built out for them at Latitude nods to the old-school professional aesthetic, with its sedate color palette and wood and leather finishes. There are still perimeter private offices, as before. But the office doesn’t function traditionally at all. In their old space, there were few places to congregate, even on a casual one-to-one basis. Their pantry was laid out like a galley kitchen, with no room to linger for too long; Sax’s new pantry anchors a collaborative area. It’s complemented by conference rooms with more room better supporting tech; plus there are now phone rooms to support more intimate one-on-ones.

More employees can be found sitting at moderate height workstations, and while traditional offices wrap the perimeter, they are glass-fronted to improve light penetration and give the space an airier feel overall. And all of this was accomplished in under a year and half, with many careful considerations made for stretching the firm’s budget.