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Legal Support – Navigating the ‘new normal’

Legal Support – Navigating the ‘new normal’

With many firms acknowledging that work from home wasn’t as detrimental to productivity as perhaps thought prior to COVID-19, we believe this will be the focus for both employees and firms in the coming months. The positive news on productivity, coupled with claims of a reduction in stress, have been put down to limited or non-existent commute times; online meetings being shorter, more relevant and more succinct; removal of general chit chat and office distractions; balance with co-parenting; time to work-out and or focus on health and wellbeing; in addition to more time for study and/or hobbies, all of which attribute to a more balanced lifestyle, despite it being a global health crisis!

A recent survey of 237 companies including EY, Deloitte, Optus, ANZ Bank and Coca Cola established some interesting findings including:

  • Only 27% felt that their offices would return to normal within 3 to 6 months
  • 36% believe their overall office footprints will shrink
  • 68% believe staff will work from home at least 2 to 3 days a week.

It will be certainly be a wait and see if this will be the circuit breaker to change the way firms work, but with many senior partners and management personally enjoying the benefits themselves, we believe there will be a number of firms attempting a more flexible workplace moving forward.  This will be not only vital to retaining staff, but also attracting future employees.

A final point on salaries – by now, we would normally have released our annual salary guide for Legal support and Shared Services staff, but due to the current market we have put that on hold until later in the calendar year.  As many firms have either pushed back their salary reviews and/or stated that there will not be salary increases for 2020, we believe that we will have a clearer picture of the market (and salaries) in the coming months.

Sommer Bath

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