Recently, whilst scanning through an old Law Society Gazette (27th Oct 2014), I came across and was drawn to an article by Jonathan Rayner entitled, “How to: work from home” in the Practice Management section.
The starting paragraph recounts how a solicitor who has been qualified for 15 years (now 17) would rather “poke sharp sticks into her eyes” than work from home.
At 360 Business Law, most of our highly qualified lawyers, both in the UK and internationally work online and I wanted to chat with one of our lawyers to discover why they work from home, what they enjoy and perhaps don’t – the positives and the negatives.
Case study: Amanda Williams
Amanda Williams specialises in Contract and Commercial Law with expertise in intellectual property rights, focusing mainly on the technical and telecom industries. Due to a sudden change in personal circumstances, Amanda had to move from London where she lived just 20 minutes from the office and move to Hull, two hundred miles away. The only way that she could carry on with the job which she loved was to work from home.
Amanda maintains that, “Working from home gives me a lot more flexibility as I am not confined to strict office hours. I find I’m able to devote quality time to contract drafting without the inevitable office interruptions, there’s little to distract me and I can concentrate fully on the work in hand.
Confidential business calls can be carried out in the knowledge that I cannot be overheard. I have more time available as there is no lengthy commute and I can work late and I am able to close business as nobody is going to push me out of my office. Actually, that’s not strictly true …. one real positive is that I have been able to adopt a German Shepherd dog called Oscar and he does like his “walkies”. This is actually good for me as it means I do get up and away from my computer screen.
I travel to the office every 6 – 8 weeks which keeps me in touch with the rest of the team. This helps me stay connected and the regular Skype calls are super for sharing information and discussing current projects.
The main disadvantages are not being part of a team and the remoteness. I do miss the ‘office banter’ and the social aspects. My boss is absolutely great at keeping me informed but there’s obviously conversations and discussions that I miss out on.
I feel that attitudes to ‘working from home’ are not always positive and my conscientiousness places a burden on my shoulders as I feel I must always be available – just to prove that I’m not out shopping! The advantages of working from home certainly outweigh the negatives although I do need to work on my work-life balance!”
Personally, I am one of a very few who work for 360 Business Law that does work from an office environment and this has been enlightening hearing Amanda’s views about, “Working from Home.”
360 Business Law is a different type of law firm which is there for its clients from 8am to 8pm and at weekends if required.