Irwin Mitchell will allow its employees to choose where and when they work as it announces its offices will run at 50% capacity from 21 June.
The law firm has told its 3,000 employees that – “subject to their role and client work being completed effectively” – they will be able to make the choice about where and when they choose to work. All colleagues already have laptops and are equipped for flexible working options which have worked well throughout the pandemic.
The approach, labelled “Flexible by Choice”, followed research among both colleagues and clients to determine the best approach to working in the future. The majority suggested they would prefer hybrid working, spending some time in the office and at home or other locations.
Irwin Mitchell’s 15 offices are expected to be open at half capacity from 21 June in anticipation of ongoing Covid-19 health and safety restrictions and in future they are expected to become hubs for collaborative working.
Susana Berlevy, chief people officer, said: “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.
“From listening to our colleagues we anticipate most people to take up hybrid working patterns with time split between offices and home.
“There will also be some roles which are office based due to the nature of the work they do, and we expect some people will wish to work from home full-time.”
The approach is part of Irwin Mitchell’s Responsible Business drive to encourage travel only when necessary and continuing the shift to more digital ways of working, reducing the reliance on paper. To protect colleague wellbeing there will also be suggestions around internal meeting times and steps to try to reduce video call fatigue.
“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. “We know wellbeing is also an important consideration, we’re building this into our policies and we also have extensive resources available to help our colleagues to build their resilience and overcome any challenges they face.”
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” – Susana Berlevy
The news comes as the City of London Corporation outlined plans to repurpose some vacant office space into at least 1,500 new housing units by 2030, as part of an overhaul of the City to boost its competitiveness and attractiveness.
Following a positive full year performance Irwin Mitchell last week said it would repay funds received through the furlough scheme and will pay an additional 3% bonus to all staff.
In 2019 Irwin Mitchell received the coveted Employment Law Firm of the Year prize at the Personnel Today Awards. Entries for this year’s Awards close on 4 June 2021.