Linklaters Rolls Out Permanent 50% Remote Work Option

By Emma Cueto
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Law360 (August 25, 2020, 12:14 PM EDT) -- London-based Linklaters on Tuesday announced a new global "agile working policy" that will allow employees to work remotely up to 50% of the time, which the firm said reflected lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the firm said it continues to follow government guidance around the opening of its physical office spaces around the world, it also unveiled a policy that will continue to apply even after the pandemic, allowing employees to work remotely 20-50% of the time, so long as their plans are communicated to their team in advance.

The policy would not, however, mandate any remote work for anyone, the firm added.

"The COVID-19 pandemic and our enforced remote working experiment has given us an opportunity to take stock and revisit how we approach agile and remote working," Andrea Arosio, managing partner of Linklaters in Italy and member of Linklaters' Global People Committee, said in a statement. "Our recent experience has demonstrated that, whilst we are a people-focused business and collaboration is key, remote working has worked remarkably well and we can deliver high-quality work whilst working remotely."

She added, however, that the pandemic has also driven home the benefits of face-to-face interactions, especially with clients, and the value of physical office spaces.

"Being agile is essential to our business, meeting the needs of our people and our clients," Arosio said. "We are committed to fostering our agile culture which encourages our people develop working arrangements which suit their needs along with those of the firm and our clients."

The firm is also engaging in "continuous dialogue" with offices about what additional flexible options employees might want as offices begin to reopen. Currently, the firm is weighing ideas such as flexible start and end times or the option for modified hours, it said.

Linklaters' London headquarters is currently open for employees to come in, according to the firm, which noted it is adhering to social distancing and sanitization guidelines. However, it said it continues to support employees who prefer to stay entirely remote at this time.

--Editing by Rebecca Flanagan.

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