Working from home

The legal world is one of the more fortunate businesses in the current climate. The large office buildings may have closed down, but every lawyer is fortunate enough to be able to turn on their laptops and work from home. Billions has been invested in legal technology over the years to enable law firms to operate on a global scale and be in communication with their clients and colleagues (at all hours of the day). Many a holiday has been disrupted by our ability to be contacted 24/7 [she says dryly]! The point is – flexible working works.

But despite this, the notion of a lawyer “working from home” has always been shrouded in the stigma of laziness and people not pulling their weight. You know all too well those back-handed comments of: “Oh, she’s ‘working from home’ [nudge, nudge, wink, wink]…” or “He’s probably out walking the dogs” when he’s not immediately contactable, etc.

For someone who does work permanently from home (and yes, sometimes in my pyjamas), I am hoping that this period of remote working will start to dispel that myth. Although there are added distractions, what can be seen is the following:

  • Trustworthy employees who continue to work
  • Clients still being contacted
  • Online collaboration between teams
  • Less time wasted traveling to and from the office
  • Productivity

It’ll be interesting to see how the legal world responds to this:

  • Perhaps it will finally bring an end to the dreaded “billable hour” – alleluia! Maybe the profit generated by an individual lawyer will become the measure of their productivity?
  • Perhaps flexible working will become more encouraged?
  • Perhaps the traditional 9-6pm working day will be relaxed?
  • Perhaps we’ll see a downsizing in expensive office space?

What are your thoughts? Is significant change around the corner or is this just a mere exception to the rule?