Why employees in law firms are preferring remote working

The events of recent months have positively impacted the culture of Britain’s law sector as more than half (52%) of employees say working from home has improved their work-life balance.

And whats more, as organisations continue to make plans for their eventual return to the office almost half (44%) of those working in law are ‘dreading going back to the workplace.’ 

This comes from our recent workplace culture research, a report which also uncovered almost one-quarter (24%) of employees in law said sentiment towards their job has been positively impacted, while the same percentage confirmed their relationship with their boss/employer has improved since they started working from home. 

There’s no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in challenging times for businesses. With many teams working remotely, organisations have had to improve their communication, keeping employees informed of developments, while demonstrating empathy, and providing coaching plus support for their mental health and general wellbeing.

But, the research found that most employees have credited their organisations with having a positive culture in the current climate, with many benefitting from improvements to their productivity, creativity, work-life balance and relationships with key stakeholders, such as their employer.

Remote working has long been an area of contention for many organisations, but as the uncertainty around the transition back to work continues across the UK, employees are calling for those at the top to consider a more modernised approach. 

On the positive impact of working from home on various cultural factors, the research found:

  • Almost one-third (30%) of employees in law confirmed lockdown/working from home has had a positive impact on their workplace culture
  • More than one-third (35%) of employees in law said they feel more likely to experience something they would describe as bullying or harassment while in the workplace, compared to just 16% who feel more likely to face this while working from home
  • More than one-quarter (26%) of employees in law confirmed working remotely has positively impacted their job motivation
  • One-quarter (25%) are receiving passive-aggressive comments less often now they’re working from home
  • Creativity has improved for many, with one-quarter (25%) saying remote working has had a positive effect
  • Trust has improved for the better with almost one-third (32%) confirming trust in their boss/employer has been positively impacted
  • More than one-third (35%) said their employer/boss has asked about their wellbeing more often, since they started working from home
  • More than half (53%) are being trusted to get on with their job more now they’re working from home, meaning many are able to work autonomously without being micromanaged

On the negative effects of working from home, the research found: 

  • 39% of employees in law said working from home has had a negative impact on their mental health
  • Imposter syndrome and self-doubt are rife, with more than one-quarter (27%) of employees in law feeling these more so working from home than they did previously
  • Almost half (46%) of employees in law feel isolated when working from home
  • Progression has been impacted for the worse, with 26% of law employees saying they’ve been negatively affected when it comes to promotion opportunities
  • More than one-third (35%) of employees in law said working from home has negatively affected their training and development
Remote working has positively impacted employees’ for the most part and is something employers should absolutely be considering as they plan for the future – especially now the success of this approach has been clearly proven.

While there are of course some key factors organisations need to work on, like continued commitment to training and development, employees’ wellbeing and progression, employers should be ensuring they have systems and tools in place to empower their teams to remain productive, creative and supported, even while they’re working from home.

Click here to download the full report, and if you're interested in finding out how Culture Shift can help you transform the culture in your organisation, request a demo

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