A Paul Hastings employee welcomes the news
Paul Hastings has sent a memo to all its global staff telling them to work from the office "by default" from 7 September.
The US firm gave a strong indication that it expects all its employees, including those in the UK, to be back in the office full-time from the autumn. "By default, we should work from the office when we are able," said management in its memo to staff.
The memo seemed to suggest that some remote working may be allowed, if staff provide a good reason (a preference for working in pyjamas may not cut it): "We understand and respect the flexibility that individual circumstances will require," said management.
A source told RollOnFriday that, rather than having a set policy, group leaders will be left to decide what flexibility to allow their own teams. So staff wanting a regular slot each week to wfh will have to hope their boss isn't a stickler for presenteeism.
Paul Hastings' policy that the office should be the default venue for staff contrasts with the stance of several City firms which have recently announced a hybrid policy to include remote working; many of those firms highlighted that they sought feedback from their staff and clients when reaching their decision.
Firms that are allowing a specific amount of remote working include the Magic Circle. Clifford Chance, Linklaters 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. Meanwhile, other City firms have opted for various percentage splits, such as Eversheds Sutherland swinging to 40% to 60% homeworking.
A firm's long-term policy on wfh might well have an impact on whether they keep hold or attract new staff - a RollOnFriday poll of thousands of law sector professionals revealed that over 50% of lawyers would swap firms if they couldn't work from home.
Paul Hastings declined to comment.