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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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