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60% of legal workers think firms should be doing more to support remote working

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But three quarters say lockdown has shown they can work effectively from home

More than half of legal workers believe their firms should be doing more to support home-working amid the coronavirus lockdown, new research has shown.

Fifty-six percent of more than 3,000 British office workers, including around 100 in the legal sector, thought that their companies could be doing more to help them cope with the technological challenges of home-working. More than one in six (17%) of those surveyed are using a personal laptop or desktop computer to work from home, with a further 10% working on equipment purchased since the lockdown, for example.

The data further reveals that less than half (44%) of workers in the legal profession said their employer has helped them to make adequate provisions to work from home in the long-term, while over a third (36%) said they need their company to invest in long-term solutions given that social distancing measures are likely to stay in place for at least the end of the year. One fifth (20%) said they need their firm to act urgently to enable productive home-working.

The study found, however, that more than three quarters (77%) of legal workers believe the lockdown has shown that they can work effectively from home. Prior to the lockdown, only two fifths (41%) said that they could work from home when they want — about a fifth lower than workers in financial services (63%) and government and manufacturing (58%).

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Elsewhere, the study, which has been published by IT provider Atlas Cloud to coincide with the second anniversary of the GDPR on Monday, shows that almost two thirds (63%) of home-working legal staff are storing files on their own devices, raising concerns about data security. Three percent admitted that the computer they are using to work from home is not password protected.

Commenting on the findings, Pete Watson, chief executive officer of Atlas Cloud, said: “Our survey shows there is still a clear need to implement short-term solutions to enable a fifth of legal sector workers to work more productively from home.”

He added:

“However, with organisations now starting to implement long-term working from home policies now is the time to take stock and to start planning to invest in longer-term remote and home-working solutions. To adapt a well-known phrase — the legal sector needs to get home-working done.”

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22 Comments

Anon

The legal sector has been well behind the times on flexible workspace for years – one good thing to come out of this terrible episode is to finally force us in to the 21st century, and I think management have been pleasantly surprised at how little disruption it has caused. We’ve been told our firm is now going to resource home working properly so I’m watching this space with optimism…

(16)(0)

Surprised

Pleasantly surprised? Ours are finally starting to show the cracks of not being able to get a hold of people on the phone.

(0)(0)

Thoughts?

There is no need for law firms to be in such big fancy offices in the first place. I mean sure it’s convenient to just go down a few floors to the in-office restaurant/cafe, gym, swimming pool (if you’re Clifford Chance) and whatever other perks but I’m sure all employers of the firm would prefer to take a larger pay check in exchange for working at a less prestigious expensing office and a day at home a week if possible

(12)(1)

truthsiren

All good and valid points, but would you really see an extra £5K gross on your annual wedge in return for working in some ghastly drab office park in the middle of the Home Counties?

I suggest visiting Welvyn Garden City for inspiration and suggestions.

(9)(0)

Joe

Wonder how trainees and rookie NQ associates who are living in tiny rooms in a flat share in London are managing to work from home properly. The ones in single rooms don’t even have a desk to fit 2 monitors on

(23)(0)

3am thoughts

commercial law in London is a trap. A rat race you can’t get out of. Spend your 20s living in a tiny room in London until you’re 35 and then you’re moved up to a senior associate role and get a slightly higher salary but still not enough to buy a home in London that doesn’t look like a council house or in a ghetto area. Maybe now you’re 40 and looking to become partner but the firm offers you a ‘senior counsel’ position instead which makes you think you’re progressing when it’s just a change in title (Assistant -to the- retail manager (if you know you know)). Then you’re 50 and become a salaried partner. 55 and they make you an equity partner – you make £1million a year which equals about half a million after tax. You’re finally living good. But to what end?

(14)(7)

David Brent

Assistant to the REGIONAL manager. Idiot.

(7)(2)

Thomas

Gone are the days when you could make partner at around 10 years pqe

(6)(0)

Anon

Not sure that’s true, if you look through most new partner lists are 10-12 PQE, perhaps a bit later for something super technical like Tax.

The issue is is just a handful get made up these days, so there’s not the same incentive of partnership for 90% of associates.

(2)(0)

Mid-tier toiler

Lol you’d be lucky to make partner by age 55 at some City firms.

They’ll just make you a Director instead, and you’ll look like the dumb c*nt to have believed them that you are.

(5)(1)

tips@legalcheek.com

Not sure how global this problems is now. This was definitely happening in the first weeks of lockdown but by now most of trainees have moved to live with their parents in their hometowns / overseas, at least looking at my firm. I do not know almost anyone who decided to stay in their East / South London shared apartment.

(14)(27)

Molly

The article is talking about the FUTURE as well as the current situation. So even if trainees did go home to live with parents during the lockdown, they’re gonna have to go back once everything is back to ‘normal’ and if firms do decide to continue some form of working at home scheme even if it’s for a day a week, those living in tiny rooms in flats with no desks or space for computers are going to struggle.

Also, most trainees went home you a right. But not all of them. And a lot of the associates stayed in London too so that Joe guy is correct tbf

(30)(22)

tips@legalcheek.com

I am an associate and I stay in London. So far enjoy the experience – London is one of greenest cities in Europe, a lot of very good parks and gardens everywhere. The associate salary in almost any London law firm would allow you to rent a decent apartment in a good area in Zones 2-3.

I was more concerned about the trainees (who clearly cannot afford to rent a London apartment on their own). Was very relieved to see that most of them are staying with their parents / partners now. After the firm has agreed to compensate the price of extra monitors / printers they seem to have less problems working from home as well.

(2)(7)

Get a load of this simp

Clearly aren’t paying you enough to be spending your morning glitching the comments to bring your own likes up and everyone who disagrees with your comments you spam them with dislikes

tips@legalcheek.com

“those living in tiny rooms in flats with no desks or space for computers are going to struggle.” – clearly the renting patterns would change.

However, this is not the problem for the trainees / associates who rent a shared apartments. On the contrary, this the problem for the landlords – to find tenants they would sooner or later be forced to reorganise their apartments / rooms so that people doing WFH could properly work in them. Otherwise they would struggle to find tenants and get less profits from their investments.

(0)(2)

Sir Simpness of Simpshire

No one cares for an analysis on the renting market haha

Aaron

Spamming your own like button are ya hahaha. Just saw it go from 0 likes to 4 once I refreshed the page.

(8)(14)

Gemma

I noticed too, literally just went from 4 likes to 7. Whoever wrote that comments needs to get a life lol

(4)(0)

Will D

Lmao I just clicked on the article and saw it move from 7 likes to 11 just like that. They’re definitely spamming their own likes

(2)(1)

Rogan

Haha just went from 11 to 14 within seconds. That person has no shame

Irwin Mitchell Galley Slave

‘WFH’ for me means being flogged remotely and getting paid in digital biscuits.

(7)(0)

Slaughters are slippin

Slaughter and May dropped NQ salaries back to 87k.

(7)(0)

Comments are closed.

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