Linklaters is the first City firm to announce a long-term WFH policy, allowing its employees to work remotely for up to 50% of their time.
The Magic Circle firm's policy permits its 5,200 staff around the world to work remotely for up to half of their time, provided they tell their teams in advance and subject to operational roles being fulfilled. The firm said its decision was intended to apply beyond the Covid-19 restrictions.
"The policy captures the lessons learned from remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic," said a Linklaters spokeswoman. She added that it reflects "that high-quality work can be delivered whilst working remotely, supported by the firm’s longstanding investment in robust technology."
The decision mirrors the desires of the legal profession in RollOnFriday's survey of over 2,500 staff in law firms - the biggest WFH survey of the sector. 44% of respondents said that in the long-term, they now 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.
The forced absence from the office has permanently broken many people's tether to the office. As one respondent to RollOnFriday's survey put it: "Offices seem so 20th century now". A follow-up survey by RollOnFriday revealed that over 50% of lawyers would swap firms if they couldn't work from home.
A good, productive start to the day - how it used to look.
Linklaters also said it was discussing other agile arrangements with staff including flexible start and finish times, modified daily ‘core’ hours, and modified hours to allow for commitments outside of work.
"The firm is committed to ensuring that each conversation will start with a 'yes' to exploring the possibilities," said the firm's spokeswoman, adding that the firm would continue to foster a culture which "enables people to determine when, where and how they get their work done."
“Our recent experience has demonstrated that, whilst we are a people-focussed business and collaboration is key, remote working has worked remarkably well and we can deliver high quality work whilst working remotely." said Andrea Arosio, Managing Partner of Linklaters in Italy. "We are committed to fostering our agile culture which encourages our people develop working arrangements which suit their needs along with those of the firm and our clients.”