A goodbye blog to expensive offices and wasting time
Following Boris Johnson’s announcement calling for our return to offices, I thought I’d share my thoughts on my own WFH journey.
Ask most people what they associate legal services with and 9/10 it’s the TV series Suits (or Law and Order depending on how old you are!), big swanky office buildings and board rooms with expensive chairs that swivel.
The space you occupy as a lawyer is part of the image, and whilst none of my clients expects to meet me in a highrise building in Temple, London, to some (no matter what business you’re in), WHERE you meet matters.
So, when I moved to the UK from South Africa, finding an office to rent was high on my to-do list, but I held off as I could easily commute from Milton Keynes to London when needed, and being home to do the school run in a brand new country felt just as important.
I am, however, incredibly lucky in that because I work with the technology sector I’m often surrounded by early adopters: people keen to try smarter ways of working, and to even use a brand new conferencing platform hardly anyone had heard of - Zoom.
But I persevered, and as Ethiqs grew I purposefully made video consults part of how I support my clients and so when lockdown hit in March I was ready. I didn’t find video calls strange or nerve-wracking, I’d long mastered screen sharing and most importantly knew when I was on mute.
Despite Boris Johnson’s announcement last week that we can return to our offices, I’m not sure how many companies will actually go back to the ways things were before. COVID has changed our minds around what’s important. Stressful commutes, wasting time and missing life’s important moments are staying behind in the pre-COVID world.
We know now that the quality of service is not determined by the building a company is based in, but rather the skills of its people. Ultimately I think working from home makes me more efficient, and therefore better at my job — and that in the new world no one will mind that my business and home address are one and the same.
Your Virtual Lawyer signing off.