A law firm is its people. Even firms that heavily “productise” work rely on the skills, output and throughput of its people so it is appropriate that we start with people in this series of discussion papers about the return to office working. We briefly explore some elements of the people impact returning to the office and also the impact of the continuance of remote working or blend of the two (“Bi-modal” operations). In the articles to follow, we will look through the lenses of IT service, technology, governance and working practices.
Reference to the Kübler-Ross model in our introduction article may imply a linear transition but people can be affected by many “phased waves” of managing change as we return to office working. For example, they could be at the tail (“integration”) end of one curve adapting to home working but be in a completely different position on other aspects such as frustration in travel arrangements or fear about using public transport.
Your people’s perceptions will be driven by many individual factors including their own attitude to risk and personal circumstances. The result is a wide spectrum of how people will react if and when they are asked to return to office working, which is likely to be more complicated than the switch to remote working at the start of the pandemic!