Two-thirds of public sector lawyers want to work at least three days from home

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By Aishah Hussain on


Only 5% want to be in the office full-time, new research shows

Flexible and remote-working are “top priorities” for legal professionals working in the public sector, new research has shown.

Just over two-thirds (67%) of public sector legal staff want to work at least three days from home, compared to only 5% who want to be in the office full-time.

These were some of the findings from a survey carried out by recruitment firm Sellick Partnership.

Some 28% of the 172 solicitors and legal executives surveyed said they want to work at least three days from home in their next role, 19% said the same for at least four days, and one fifth (20%) responded saying they want to work fully-remote. By contrast, just 5% want to work in the office for five days a week.

Meanwhile, just over three-quarters (76%) of survey respondents chose ‘enhanced flexi-time’ that would allow them to control their own working hours as a perk that would appeal when looking for a new role. This was, however, outranked by salary, which was the top motivator when looking for a new role, ahead of flexible hours, remote working and career progression options, according to the survey.

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Commenting on the findings, Sara Robinson, principal consultant for public sector legal recruitment at Sellick Partnership, told Legal Cheek: “The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way in which everyone works, and I think it has created a level of trust between employers and employees that maybe wasn’t there pre-pandemic. There is now a huge reliance and desire to work from home and in a flexible manner.”

Continuing, Robinson said:

“Employers in the legal sector need to consider this, not only when trying to attract new talent but maintaining their current workforce. The working world has changed, and public sector legal teams need to ensure that they can change with it!”

Several law firms in the commercially-driven private sector have outlined their remote-working policies in recent months.

City law firm Stephenson Harwood recently made national headlines by stating it will cut salaries by 20% should lawyers and staff choose to work from home permanently. A subsequent Legal Cheek poll revealed that 88% of our readers wouldn’t be prepared to take up such an option — even if it meant no more costly London living and early morning commute.

RPC, meanwhile, has told all of its lawyers (including trainees) and staff that they can choose to work where they want. It’s one of the more lenient policies in the City as most other firms have imposed a minimum number of days staff must attend the office each week.

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