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Flexible working in the news

Our roundup of what’s hitting the headlines in the world of agile and flexible working

Making flexible working the default

The UK government is consulting on whether to make flexible working the default. Among the proposals are giving staff the right to request flexible arrangements from day one of their employment. The consultation closes on 1 December 2021. Source: Mondaq

After furlough, what do employers need to think about now?

Andrew Lightburn, employment director at DWF Belfast, lists the challenges ahead.

* Managing the return to work
* Resignations and redundancies
* Changes to terms and conditions
* Taking on freelancers and independent contractors

Source: Irish News

Change is the new normal

With the Monty Python-inspired headline ‘Evolving at 100 miles per hour’ The Lawyer magazine reports that firms have shown a real knack for adapting over the past 18 months. But it asks if the taste for agility fade as the UK gets back to normality. Probably not, it concludes. More than two thirds of respondents believe change has been accelerated in their practices by two to four years as a result of the pandemic. With the rise of flexible working, 42% of respondents plan to cut office space in the near future, and 13% plan to move.

Embracing agile

UK top 100 firm Michelmores is the latest commercial law firm on both sides of the Atlantic to unveil an agile working scheme that builds on the ‘lessons learned’ from remote working throughout the Covid-19 pandemic in a bid to give its lawyers more freedom to work in the office or remotely.  Source: The Global Legal Post

Employees will drive the workplaces of the future

Expectations around agile working conditions will become more important in the recruitment and retention of quality staff, according to Australian magazine The Urban Developer. Ariane Virtue, co-founder of Flex We Are, tells the New Workplace Summit that flexible working is being used to headhunt employees.

Big law firm hikes pay and boosts agile working

International law firm HFW is putting up salaries of newly qualified associates and trainees by between 7% and 14%, and it is the latest to introduce a new agile working policy allowing full-time employees in London to work from home for 40% of the time.

Firms must consider talent war in office working strategy

Law firms are trying to be mindful of concerns stemming from hybrid working, including staff health and wellbeing, empty offices on Mondays and Fridays and loss of social capital. Women lawyers have expressed concerns that office returns mean flexible working will once again be viewed as detrimental to their careers. Source:

Will remote working hit the future of young professionals?

“Hybrid” seems to be the word of the week for most insurance companies, as they look to embrace more flexible working arrangements for their people designed to alleviate the pressure on individuals and on the practical capacity considerations of an office re-purposed for social distancing. Source: Insurance Business UK

Law firm will relocate to new city centre base to reflect flexible working model

Insurance risk and commercial law firm BLM is set to move its Manchester offices to the Two New Bailey development, a 71,000 sq ft scheme in Salford, as it embarks on a new flexible working model which will see staff working remotely up to 50% of the time. Source: The Business Desk

Credit suisse plans ‘maximum flexibility’ remote work model

Credit Suisse is planning to introduce a work model that gives the  bank’s 13,000  employees in Switzerland maximum flexibility to decide with their teams and line managers how much of their time they want to spend outside the office and which days to be in. Source: Bloomberg

UBS says hybrid work here to stay

UBS wants to shed the bank’s bureaucratic image with a more agile corporate culture in contrast to executives of banks with a more sceptical view of flexible working. Source: Wall Street Journal

The future of work is hybrid and remote

The most agile employers will be able to attract the best staff, Dice report says. Source: Computerworld

Flexible working practices vary widely across organisations

Figures suggest 66% of UK businesses now offer flexible working, and the average business expects half of employees to work remotely. Source: Insight