The ‘agile working’ bandwagon gains another passenger
Addleshaw Goddard has given ‘home-desking’ the green light, rolling out a new policy across all three of its UK offices.
Joining the hot — but not so new — City trend of allowing lawyers to be stressed at home as well as work, the northern giant has confirmed that the policy will be available to those working at its Manchester, Leeds and London offices.
Both legal and business support staff will be able to take advantage of the new work-from-home option.
The policy was given the go ahead after an internal firm review revealed that Addleshaws’ lawyers were not only in favour of home-desking, but there was evidence to suggest it would positively impact on the quality of service it provided clients.
Addleshaws did not divulge specifics regarding just how often their lawyers could work from home, simply stating the option could be used “regularly”.
With the the City outfit hoping the move will help improve work/life balance, team collaboration, as well as attract and retain the top legal talent, Michael Leftley, a partner at Addleshaw Goddard said:
We already see agile working bringing benefits to many individuals and to the way we operate as a business in general. We hope that having a formalised policy will only increase that. Our employees are integral to our success and introducing methods to retain and nurture talent, as well as creating a better work/life balance, is central to maintaining that. Today’s technology means that our people do not have to be in the office around the clock and people can often work more efficiently, and service clients more effectively, if we give them some flexibility.
Addleshaws now joins a host of firms who have implemented the flexible working scheme in one form or another.
Earlier this year Macfarlanes, Freshfields and White & Case joined the likes of Berwin Leighton Paisner, Dentons, Mishcon de Reya, Herbert Smith Freehills and Nabarro in offering their lawyers a remote working option.
With Mayer Brown in the process of piloting similar schemes, Shearman & Sterling — who implemented an agile policy for its lawyers across the pond — revealed in April that it was considering a similar policy for its London-based cohort pending the outcome of an internal review.
But lawyers remain skeptical. One Legal Cheek reader, speaking earlier this year, claimed the new trend created more problems than it solved:
Two of our solicitors work out of office and it’s a f*cking nightmare. Getting correspondence to them, dealing with calls, dealing with an absolute sh*tstorm if they decide to turn their phones off.
Perhaps we are better off keeping our home and work life separate.