Travers bumps office attendance to 60% in agile working shake-up

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Six days over fortnight

The London office of Travers Smith

Travers Smith has become the latest City player to announce changes to its agile working policy, with lawyers now expected to be in the office 60% of the time.

The move means lawyers will need to be at their desks for six days over a two week period, as opposed to the five days under the old approach.

The are a number of exceptions for staff who have “alternative working arrangements”, the firm said, “and/or who need reasonable adjustments”.

“Over the summer we undertook a planned and thorough review of our agile working protocol,” a spokesperson for Travers said. “[This was] brought in immediately after the lifting of pandemic restrictions, to ensure that the firm is well-placed for the success of hybrid working in the long term.”

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They continued:

“As a firm we recognise the benefits of increased agile working, and we want to combine these positively with our culture, the need for collaboration and, most importantly, our responsibility to provide an environment for everyone in which they can learn, feel supported and form cohesive teams.”

Earlier this summer Freshfields made changes to its working guidelines that mean lawyers are required in the office at least three days a week. The Magic Circle player previously observed a 50% policy.

The change at Travers follows its decision to provide free meals for its lawyers in a bid to minimise food waste from its canteen and, as some Legal Cheek readers suggested at the time, encourage staff to come into the office on a more regular basis.

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Does anyone’s firm actually enforce these attendance policies? Mine doesn’t care as long as your billing stats are within expectations (and after all why should they if you’re making them money)


Travers Insider

Yes, I can confirm this is being enforced. My department makes the trainees and paralegals fill in a weekly tracker indicating what day’s they’re coming in to the office (trainees, paralegals and all new joiners have to do 4 days a week).



shame that Travers is moving backwards in terms of hybrid working – the talent will inevitable go elsewhere over time



Sorry, where exactly are all of these people going to go? MC firms are mostly requiring 3 out of 5 days to be in the office (FF, SM and AO anyway – not sure about the other two), US firms generally require 3 out of 5 days (again – appears to be the policy at Shearman and Kirkland, not sure about other places), and clearly even mid-market firms like Travers are requiring 3 days. Let’s face it, this is going to be the norm.

The real question is how aggressively these policies are enforced. Will the partners be having a word with you if you miss a day in the office, or will they be absolutely fine with a relaxed interpretation of the rules as long as the work is done? That’s probably more useful for junior lawyers to know, rather than vainly trying to find somewhere which will let them spend 5 days a week in the office.


Barney the tree

One of the things I love about legal cheek is how someone will always dissect a comment and tell them why it’s stupid.


Uncharitable fellow

| “Over the summer we undertook a planned and thorough review of our agile working protocol,” a spokesperson for Travers said, “[This was] brought in … to ensure that the firm is well-placed for the success of hybrid working in the long term.”

Translation: “Everyone else is doing 3 days a week, so we are too. If you don’t like it, tough.”


Aspiring Macs Lawyer

Lol travers is going backwards – new MP is running it like a private equity portfolio company and morale has tanked ever since! The irony is that since these attempted efficiencies have been brought in so many PE partners and clients have left. Good job guys!


The man on Cursitor Street

Macs has the same policy for WFH but in many teams people are being pressured to go in 4 days a week. One team even has a register which a secretary walks round the office with every morning – if you don’t do your days you get called up on it regardless of reason.



Let’s not forget their move to a black box bonus structure – morale is on the floor …



For transparency: trainees, paralegals, and new joiners all have to do four days a week.

Apparently no equivalent rules for business services who are dealt with on a case by case / department by department basis.



4 days a week? Sounds grim





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