"Yeah, adjusted back to life in the office

Eversheds Sutherland has announced that its staff will be allowed to work remotely for 40% to 60% of their time.

The firm is the latest to announce its long-term wfh policy, which is set to take effect from 13 September.

An Eversheds Sutherland spokeswoman told RollOnFriday that "a typical week for most roles will be 2-3 days a week working in the office with the rest spent working remotely." She added that: "we are not being prescriptive as we know our people will work together to agree a sensible approach on a week by week basis," which would be "driven by client and team need as well as the individual’s needs." 

The firm said that staff would be required to attend at least one "team day" each week in the office "to promote face to face connectivity". 

“We have all welcomed the increased flexibility of remote working in recent times, but we also appreciate the benefits of the office environment," said Keith Froud, Managing Partner of Eversheds Sutherland, adding that a hybrid model of "blended working - is the right approach for our people, our clients and the business."

“We have devoted a huge amount of time and effort to this, seeking feedback from across the firm, at all levels and from all roles," said Froud. "We have also spoken to clients about their anticipated needs."

Many City firms, such as Norton Rose Fulbright and Gowling WLG, have opted for a 50/50 split between the office and home. For the Magic Circle firms, Clifford ChanceLinklaters and Freshfields announced that staff can split their time 50/50 between the office and home. While Slaughter and May and Allen & Overy will allow their employees to wfh for 40% of the time.

DAC Beachcroft and Irwin Mitchell have opted for the most flexible approach by giving staff the power to decide where, when and how they work. 

A firm's long-term policy on wfh could have an impact on whether they keep hold or attract new staff -  a RollOnFriday revealed that over 50% of lawyers would swap firms if they couldn't work from home. 

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Anon 04 June 21 10:17

Weird that firms adopting hybrid working now are getting credit while those that did so pre-pandemic get none despite having recognised the direction of travel without need for a pandemic

Anonymous 04 June 21 10:25

Yes, well I suppose that Eversheds isn't really able to attract talent with the quality of the work or the heft of the salaries, so this was probably a bit of an inevitable move really.

Anonymous 04 June 21 15:41


It might be that they saw an increase in productivity and didn't want to tell their competitors about this. For my part I save a lot of time, but importantly my health has been dramatically better this year which has also helped productivity.

Non story 04 June 21 20:29

Has anyone in this industry heard of the word no? If u feel unsafe to go into work do it from home end of.  Firms are selling offices there wont be space the world has changed post covid 

Regional Senior Associate 04 June 21 21:08

I'm a senior associate in a regional office of the firm.  The pronouncement that we'll be working 40% to 60% in the office with one day a week mandatory is wholly unsupported by the staff.  Most of us really like the firm, subject to how we've been treated in the pandemic, but this appeared on the intranet with no consultation from most of us.  I'm sure they had a focus group but that won't have reported the real feelings.

The firm's WFH tech is rock solid. Full credit to the IT team from when we were booted out of the office.  We had a couple of shaky days whilst they scaled up but now it's nearly faultless. 

Our working days are now set up to WFH and our work load accordingly.  The firm's profit doesn't go up that much if we are not putting down more hours as a result of us not commuting.  We can't get that many hours down if we have to commute as well.

They'll be lucky to get most people in for one day a week.  I've been in a couple of times and it's great to see people but beyond that most of us have no need to go in. 

If they force the 40% to 60% then expect a lot resignations on top of the massive amount they've already had.  Their treatment of staff has been awful, from the 80% scheme to many other awful things to end up with 15% more profit.  The staff have worn the risk of the pandemic and not the partners.

Anonon 05 June 21 05:42

This is actually the least productive choice. 

The disruption to work flow, documents being in the wrong office location, disconnecting and reconnecting printers, and other tech bits, and the tendency to pack all meetings etc into those days in the office to make it seem like being in the office is useful and then the obligatory small talk chat with those you haven’t seen in weeks/months ends up meaning those office days are wholly unproductive. 

You may as well just write off at least 20-30%  of your week. 

Anonymous 05 June 21 09:05

Agree with 05.42. When I most recently went in, with the aim of pushing out some work, the critical mass of people I hadn’t seen for ages filled half my day with obligatory chatting.  

Anonymous 06 June 21 09:48

If you're going to comment on the PEP of an LLP, maybe read the accounts and have a look at the number of equity partners versus the total number of partners? 

Jake 06 June 21 17:01

Not all firms are making the staff work from the office take my firm S&G we are actively encouraged to work from home. Even subletting office space I’ve not been in the office for 15 months and have irregular meeting with my boss.

Striker 06 June 21 20:49

This wfh nonsense is a problem.  40% in the office gives me less time to chat up the tottie which will seriously impact my strike rate.  I had hoped to win the ballon d’ baller this year but it’s all stacked against me now.  

Anonymous 07 June 21 10:01

Slater and Gordon is the Lidl of law firms. If there is a cost to be cut, they'll do it.

Anonymous 07 June 21 13:12

Meanwhile, at BLM, our remote working technology (think cups and strings) is working just fine 

Anonymous 08 June 21 06:31

Slater & Fraud-on no longer have an office in London, despite lying to staff that it still exists... it is now one small room with two desks in it only

Sheds Principle Associate 08 June 21 07:54

@regional senior associate

TBH staff were consulted on this. I attended  multiple focus groups and calls to discuss the plans and gauge views. It was something you had to voluntarily sign up to in order to attend but we all had an email about it.

Not clear from your message what it is you actually want? Of course, i'd rather sit at home in my pants and not go in.  However, the idea that any firm would just let staff continue to work from home 100% is ludicrous and unrealistic as, ultimately, clients will want to come to office for meeting again and some things are just more easily done face-to-face with colleagues. 

2 days a week as a minimum is pretty generous when compared to the what other firms appear to be doing. 

Also, ES have paid back the 20% that they docked so lawyers worked a 4 day for 100% salary. I really don't think we can complain too much.

Morning shuffle 08 June 21 11:19

Agree with @Sheds Princi[ple][al?] Associate... Not really sure what the Regional Senior Associate wants. 

If it's to work from home 100% of the time, then dream on.  If you were on 4 days a week, you did also get paid 100% of your salary for it in the end.  What are the 'many other awful things' you speak of?!

Do you know what it is yet! 08 June 21 12:23

S&G seem well loved, just checked out Glassdoor ! Engaged staff double the number of responses than Irwin Mitchell.

Inhouse Pasture Cow 09 June 21 10:12

We are looking at full WFH, with an effort to do 40% in office getting big pushback from staff who were not consulted before it was rolled out. The financial show record profits last year when we were 100% WFH so there is no financial reason to get us in, just micro managing reasons. As such, we have grouped together to push for 100% WFH and there was no choice but to offer that to those that wanted it. 

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