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Attract the best legal talent with hybrid working solutions

Posted by Caroline Moore on 22/03 at 10:00 AM Cloud-hosted telephone systems, Unified communications, Law firms,
Attract the best legal talent with hybrid working solutions

Research on hybrid-working in legal practicies 

Recent research has revealed that the majority of in-house lawyers across the UK and US prefer a hybrid-working setup and do not wish to return to a full-time office environment.

An article in Legal Week revealed that while 57% of UK lawyers were back in the office full time following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, 38% wanted to work remotely on a full-time basis and 28% would prefer a hybrid option. That means 66% no longer want to work full time in an office.

However, ContractWorks’ poll revealed that only 17% of UK lawyers were actually working under a hybrid model.

Positive shift towards working from home

We already know that there has been a resistance from some firms to embrace home working. Last year, Morgan Stanley’s chief legal officer Eric Grossman wrote to its outside law firms stating: "I strongly believe that firms that return to the office will have a significant performance advantage over those that do not," claiming young lawyers needed to be back in the office to develop their skills.

Meanwhile, we have seen firms shut up shop on high streets or downsizing their offices to save on real estate costs as more staff are working remotely. At the start of this year, 30 of the top UK law firms reported* that they were leaving their staff to choose whether they worked from home or office or were allowing flexible working for at least two days a week.

ContractWorks’ MD Mark Rhodes commented on their findings: “The results of our research may come as a wake-up call to legal department bosses, many of whom saw their teams remain in the office throughout the pandemic. Like most sectors, there is now a real appetite among in-house lawyers, both in the UK and the US, to be able to work from home for good.”

This is not a unique story for the legal sector. Many professional services firms and other businesses are settling into a hybrid model to retain and attract staff, and to cut costs...especially as energy and fuel prices continue to rise. 

Remote working solutions 

We have pressed the importance of technology from the outset of the first lockdown. When it comes to colleague-to-colleague communication and even staff-to-customer communication, the tools are there to assist you. I am not talking about a 40-minute Zoom meeting. I am talking about professional tools that will make geographically spread businesses feel like they are in the same office.

A quick question can be asked via instant message. A meeting can be held instantaneously over video or you can send formal invites. Files and screens can be shared to groups or individuals. Calls to the office can be received on multiple devices so you never miss a call. Files can be securely accessed on office or cloud-hosted servers. Your office should be at your fingertips!

The danger is that a law firm, or indeed any business, that does not offer flexible working conditions or the technology to support them, will lose out on attracting or retaining the staff that want hybrid working. It seems UK law firm Deliotte has already recognised this and has announced they will be re-designing their offices to better enable hybrid working and that they will give grants to staff to contribute towards home-working equipment.

I can confirm that most of the businesses who come to us are looking for remote solutions as part of their office set-up. The pain of trying to operate through the UK’s lockdowns clearly still stings, or they have seen the benefits of remote working. Whatever the inspiration for change, we can help.

If your law firm needs advice, please do not hesitate to contact us at law@swcomms.co.uk.



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>Our guide to IT and communications solutions for law firms
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Posted by
Caroline Moore's avatar
Caroline Moore on 22/03/2022

Former newspaper journalist, Caroline joined the company in 2008 with no previous knowledge of the industry.

She set about stripping back all the jargon to produce plain English marketing collateral to support the sales teams. Now slightly more well-versed in the dark arts of voice, connectivity and data services, Caroline writes blogs, case studies, data sheets and social media updates to engage with potential and existing customers.

This industry is far cry from her previous working life when she worked as communications manager for Exeter Chiefs and Northampton Saints.

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Contact: caroline.moore@swcomms.co.uk

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