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Working from home while working for you - A Solicitor's review after 5 months of lockdown

After 5 months of lockdown, it seemed a good time to do a review of working from home.  Some people thrive on it while for others it is a daily challenge.  I have mixed feelings about working from home – this no doubt reflects the many pros and cons that go along with it. While it’s great not to have the usual morning commute, it’s hard to go from the buzz of a large, busy office to the quiet of your own home. Whether it’s a struggle with loud neighbours, bored children or eerie silence, it’s a difficult adjustment. As a recently qualified solicitor, there have been a lot of changes to adapt to in a short space of time.

Some of these changes cover the ways in which we work as a team.  The increased reliance on  technology has probably been the biggest change to our working practice. As a firm, Gilson Gray were lucky to be able to adapt to remote working very quickly, thanks to the technology and infrastructure that were already in place. Such adjustments also called for strong leadership and line management. I was and continue to be impressed by the leadership displayed that has supported all members of the firm to feel fully included and able to contribute.

For me, lockdown started shortly after I joined the firm.  With the introduction of remote working and especially where you are new at the firm, feeling included is not a foregone conclusion. My own personal experience however is that despite being new, I feel very included and integrated within the team. This is in no small part thanks to the effort and hard work of my colleagues who have rallied around me. Their support throughout this period has made my experience of working from home an overwhelmingly positive one. It takes a lot of hard work to stay connected while remote working and I cannot commend them highly enough. We also receive regular updates from our Line Manager and from the Management Board which has meant that everyone feels included and valued.

Other changes concern the ways in which we provide legal services.  The biggest change has been the move to remote court hearings.  Having begun my career addressing Sheriffs in busy courtrooms, it has been strange to move to quieter, more focused online hearings but I find it a very efficient way to carry out court business.   More and more processes can also now be done by email, which has a cost saving benefit to our clients.

Whilst I am now looking forward to the time when we can resume working from the office, I feel extremely privileged to work for a firm like Gilson Gray where we can work from home and I never lose sight of how grateful we are to the front line and key workers throughout this crisis, who don’t have that luxury.

The information and opinions contained in this blog are for information only. They are not intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon or considered as a replacement for advice. Before acting on any of the information contained in this blog, please seek specific advice from Gilson Gray.

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