You’d have to have been hiding under a rock for past two years not to have seen an article or two on the benefits/pitfalls of remote working. But, as we move into the next phase of this pandemic/endemic, one in which we must start to learn to live with COVID, law firm management now need to be asking:
‘What does the future of the office look like for our firm?’
Truth is, there’s no simple answer to this question. On the one hand, we have those who advocate that “distance breeds distrust” and “out of sight, out of mind”. On the other hand, we have a lot of people saying we’re not going back to the old ways – and if you make us, we will part of the Great Resignation.
One answer to this issue might be in what the Australian Financial Review recently termed ‘Anchor Days’.
As per the AFR article, ‘Anchor Days’ are days on which a group of employees (in the same team) agree to go into the office on the same day each week with the aim of enhancing collaboration and ensuring a more lively office culture.
While I like the concept of Anchor Days, I think I should also point out that, from my reading, it comes with a couple of major misconceptions:
- we all work in the same physical location (geographically in the same State/Cities, but also on the same floor of a building!).
- that collaboration is more likely to happen in physical presence, when what we actually find is that collaboration more likely occurs with inclusion, and inclusion is more aligned with trust. QED, if you want more collaboration within your team, then trusting that your team can get it’s shit done here remotely/agile and not dictating collaboration top down, is a big step in the right direction.
My final comment: if Anchor Days become a thing, what day(s) would you chose?