Working from home

"I can't wait for the City to open up properly again - I need more workplace injury claims." 


Irwin Mitchell is the latest firm to permit its staff to decide where, when and how they work, once the lockdown has lifted.

The PI firm's 'Flexible by Choice' scheme will allow its 3,000 staff to decide whether to work remotely full-time, or in the office, or opt for a hybrid, "subject to their role and client work being completed effectively". All staff "already have laptops and are equipped for flexible working options which have worked well throughout the pandemic," said the firm.

“We’ve seen throughout the pandemic how much colleagues have embraced working from home and have appreciated being able to work flexibly around their lives," said Susana Berlevy, chief people officer at Irwin Mitchell. She said the firm anticipated that the majority of staff would split their time between the office and home, but expected "some people will wish to work from home full-time."

“It’s crucial that we trust our colleagues to make the best choice for themselves, the other colleagues in their teams and their clients in how they decide to work in future," added Berlevy.

With remote working becoming the norm for many Irwin Mitchell staff, their neighbours may wish to close their blinds when browsing the internet in incognito mode, to avoid being snitched on.  

Irwin Mitchell follows DAC Beachcroft in giving staff the power to decide where they want to work.  An uber-flexible model has been a success at Keystone Law, which was crowned RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2021. Built on principles of remote working, keep-what-you-kill and work-when-you-like, Keystone's unorthodox structure appeared designed for a Covid-afflicted landscape.

In RollOnFriday's survey of over 2,500 staff in law firms, 44% of respondents said that in the long-term, they only want to work in the office for just one or two days a week. Another 10% said they didn't want to go back to the office at all. Only 10% said their preference was to eventually return full-time.

Meanwhile, at Slater and Gordon an insider told RollOnFriday that the firm has mysteriously "asked all staff to work from home if we can." The source concluded: "I'm going to be working from my kitchen table for life."

The firm has also taken a puzzling approach to promoting its offices, by "hiding" them on its website, said the source. Slater and Gordon used to list all its offices clearly on their pages, but visitors to the site now have to type in the url of an office manually, in order to reveal it. The firm did not respond to requests for comment.

With the shift towards remote working, Slater and Gordon was (unintentionally) ahead of the curve, as it was been closing offices for some time. Since 2017 the Golden Turd 2020 and 2021 winner has shuttered in Chester, Wrexham, Milton Keynes and Preston. In 2019 it shut in Leeds with the loss of 25 fee-earners, placed 100 staff at its Watford office at risk of redundancy, and made job cuts in Birmingham. And last year it closed its London office as part of a plan for staff to work from home on a permanent basis.

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Comments

Anonymous 30 April 21 09:51

To be fair, IM already promoted home-working by making their offices horrible, concentration-free airport lounges full of the barking PI monkeys and gorillas who make the lives of those who practise real law a living misery. 

Anonymous 30 April 21 10:02

If you go back to 2016 the following offices have been closed by Slaters.

Aldershot, Leeds, Halifax, Derby, Ashton Under-Lyne, Failsworth, Bristol, Chester, Waterloo (Merseyside), Bramhall, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Preston, Sheffield, Fareham, Chelmsford, Wakefield, Wrexham, Watford, London and an office in Malta.

 

Anonymous 30 April 21 15:17

"barking PI monkeys and gorillas"

I really do have to take issue with this, it's completely unfair.

 

The gorilla is a majestic animal which sits at the apex of its ecosystem. To compare it to an Irwin Mitchell lawyer is to grievously insult it.

They are, at best, the baboons of the legal community.

SBKM 30 April 21 16:39

Where does this leave the Slater & Gordon Summer Boat Party 2021?

This is the highlight of the UK legal industry Summer calendar.

Where heads of dept give their best to show Paras how to get on.

Anyone? Anyone? Man Overboard

 

Bojo 30 April 21 18:47

If only S&G looked after their staff as well as their offices. Oh hang on, all the half decent people have disappeared as well.

AnonIMous 01 May 21 09:13

Unlike the firms S&G says should not even be considered its competitors, it does look after its staff - by halving bonuses and telling staff they should be lucky to have jobs instead of begging for the common Covid thank-you' bonuses. 

Road man 01 May 21 10:47

Mans reckons IM iz buying Slaterz innit - with no Slaterz ends in London IM av ad to intro dis blended approach for when mans tupez all fam from Slaterz innit. You get me fam? Peace 

Office, where art thou Office 02 May 21 09:31

“Consumer” law firm without any easily identifiable shop front, is obviously a great idea - If you want no new business.

Charles in charge 02 May 21 18:45

Slaters is a car crash! Redundancies on a weekly basis. Really a horrible place to work staff unhappy and clients pissed.

leadership 04 May 21 10:49

More redundancies across the board at S&G I’ve no idea who still works in the business. 

S&G Employee 06 May 21 10:26

Not sure where all the rumours of constant redundancies come from?  and no, we've not been asked to work from home if we can, forever. We're adopting a hybrid approach and flexible working. If you want to go into the office, you can. If you want to work from home, you can. If you want to work from the beach, (aslong as it's in the UK), you can.

@10.26 06 May 21 18:15

by office i guess you mean the park through the alleyway by the Penderals Oak Spoons.  God bless you.  i was naive once.

Redundant from S&G this year 06 May 21 22:47

HR at S&G as somebody made redundant in 2021 and one of many, these process are active as we speak in the business.

I think the rumours of remote working come from shutting the London office and telling all the media via Dave Whitmore and Chief of People Alicia Alinia! 

“When we do look to return to our offices, they won’t look like they used to and colleagues will be encouraged to continue working remotely for the majority of the time. Working smart is better for everyone. Our colleagues and our customers. It’s the S+G Way.’

https://www.newlawjournal.co.uk/content/slater-gordon-to-encourage-remote-working-post-pandemic

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