As many of us would expect, the COVID-19 pandemic caused many employers and employees to re-think their working practices with most of us working from home.
A recent study has shown the most are favouring hybrid working, working from both home and the office during a working week.
On average lawyers want to spend just over two days per week working from home and 9 out of 10 not wanting to return to the office full time.
The thing that struck me most from the article are two points;
1. What does this mean for junior lawyers coming in to the profession? Is their level of engagement and supervision going to be hindered? Personally I feel it is important that those supervising and working with junior colleagues prioritise their development over the desire to work in tracksuit bottoms and avoid the working commute;
2. I was shocked to see that it was reported that only 4 in 10 wanted to impose boundaries on client contact, with almost a fifth wishing to avoid contact at weekends and just under 25% objecting to being contacted before 7am or after 11pm. My surprise from these figures is that it is such a low percentage. That means that over 75% of those spoken to have no issue with being contacted between 11pm and 7am..... or is it just that they didn't want to admit it in case they looked unwilling?
It is important we are all given the opportunity to have downtime and shut off. Just because our homes have become our offices does not mean that the distinction between our working and personal time needs to merge too.
According to research by Thomson Reuters, 63% of lawyers are requesting flexible working arrangements in the wake of Covid-19, compared with 22% before the pandemic hit. On average, lawyers would like to spend 2.1 days a week working remotely, the study found. Meanwhile, four in 10 would like to impose boundaries on client contact, with almost a fifth of UK lawyers wishing to avoid client contact at weekends. Just under a quarter now object to being contacted before 7am and after 11pm on weekdays.