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Shoosmiths' unveils new way of working on return to offices

Shoosmiths will re-open its offices and hubs in England and Northern Ireland on 3 August, emerging with a bold new way of working – giving colleagues even more choice to make their own decisions on where and when they work. This is just one of the four key working principles set up by Shoosmiths, which has committed to an output not occupancy ethos, with technology taking precedence over floorspace – all aimed at enhancing the firm’s client experience.

The new Shoosmiths way of working has been shaped in part by the firm’s rapid response to the pandemic – seamlessly adopting even more home-based working and providing colleagues with the necessary equipment all within a week. It also builds upon the firm’s well-established agile way of working, taking it to a new level.

When the firm opens its doors again next week on a COVID-19 Secure basis, Shoosmiths is committed to retaining a two-metre social distancing rule as well as a strict and limited number of people allowed at any location at one time (as well as a three-day notice-period for any attendance). The Birmingham office is trialling ‘Base Camp’ through its Live Working platform, an online portal which allows colleagues to carry out and update an online risk assessment, book a desk and/or parking space and contains all the information required for the office to operate to its optimum ability through the challenges of COVID-19 with one click of a button.

Shoosmiths CEO Simon Boss said: “The pandemic has brought about a seismic shift in how we work, and we’ve adapted to this with enhanced agility. It’s not a case of going back to the old ways of working – we have chosen to embrace the change and do things differently and build on everything we’ve learned over the past few months. 

“I am incredibly proud of how we’ve adapted as a firm – from the commitment and flexibility of our colleagues, to the speed at which our IT team fast-forwarded our working from home ability. Our new ‘Your How’ principles build on all this good work, and more importantly, goodwill.

“We have taken the opportunity for a radical refresh of our talent proposition which we know will improve working life for our teams, aid our diversity and inclusion agenda, increase our talent pool and enhance our client offering. This is a game changer.”

The four working principles are:

  • Enhanced client experience
    The key underlying principle is that client needs must continue to be met and the overall client experience enhanced. If we need to be flexible to achieve that, we will be.
  • Your ‘how’
    Individual autonomy and responsibility underpin how we work. Managers do not impose their ‘how’ but account must be taken of supervision and development needs, as well as overall wellbeing.
  • The answer is ‘yes’
    The assumption is that flexible working requests and/or working from home will be approved – the onus is now on the manager to make out a compelling business case as to why it cannot work at that time.
  • Output not occupancy
    We are interested in output and performance not where or when people work. Use of tech takes precedence over use of floorspace. We trust you to deliver.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Certain roles e.g. front of house and those requiring supervision e.g. trainee solicitors necessitate an element of office working.

Disclaimer

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.

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