Less homeworking = better brand presence in the cities*
Gateley is changing its remote working policy to increase the number of minimum days in the office from two to three days.
The change won't affect the firm's most junior lawyers who are already in the office for the vast majority of the week: trainees and 0-2 PQE lawyers were told, post pandemic, to be in the office for 4 days a week, when the firm set out its hybrid policy.
But, up until now, the majority of Gateley staff have only had to come into the office for two days a week. The new updated policy, which requires staff to be in for three days, will take effect from 6 November, although it applies with immediate effect for partners.
“We remain committed to hybrid working and we do see the benefits it brings," a Gateley spokeswoman told RollOnFriday. "It’s also important we have something in place that will encourage us to strike the balance between the flexibility that remote working allows while still being able to build on and retain our culture, provide better team collaboration and networking opportunities, and help those early into their careers to have the face-to-face support and mentoring that is critical for their own career development.”
A source said that the firm had told staff that it wants to build “brand presence” around UK cities "when staff pop out of the office to lunch with their branded umbrellas".
However, the firm's spokeswoman denied that staff were being ordered to brandish a brolly: "We know we are far more likely to have a better brand presence out and about in the cities in which we have offices if we have a greater presence in our offices for the majority of the week. This has formed part of our communication to staff but at no point have we said that we want people to ‘pop out of the office to lunch with branded umbrellas’!"
She added: "Naturally, when you are in the office more there is better opportunity to attend locally based industry events and network with peers, clients and intermediaries, which is important in any people-based business."
* Branded umbrellas not compulsory - see above