And 1-2pm on other work days
Baker McKenzie is encouraging UK staff to keep Wednesdays and 1-2pm on other work days free from internal meetings to “combat Zoom fatigue”.
With law firms moving to more agile ways of working amid the coronavirus pandemic and lawyers keeping connected using video-conferencing tech, the measure, dubbed ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’, aims to “free up employees’ time during the week”, a statement from the firm said.
Baker McKenzie will also send out every Wednesday an email to all staff with mental health and wellbeing guidance, as well as a reminder of the initiatives in place at the firm.
‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ comes after new research found that cracks are beginning to appear in the home-working model, particularly among junior lawyers. Three out of four solicitors are experiencing feelings of isolation and a lack of motivation, according to LexisNexis’ annual Bellwether report.
Baker McKenzie also confirmed that it is continuing to hold off on salary reviews that it introduced for at least six months in June. The firm has, however, paid out bonuses in October.
The firm will also continue with its recruitment pause for non-essential hires, and has extended its part-paid sabbaticals and reduced hours and pay programme until at least next month.
Alex Chadwick, managing partner of Baker McKenzie’s London office, said: “While we have navigated the uncertain economic environment well so far and have continued to deliver the highest standards of client service, we don’t yet know what 2021 will bring.”
“This means that as a business we must continue to act cautiously and monitor the situation closely, while looking after ourselves and each other. A continued focus on these things will stand us in good stead as the economy recovers and as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.”