'One size fits all no longer serves': TLT announces long-term shift to flexible working

The top-50 UK law firm will invest millions in tech and telecommunications over the next two years to support the change


TLT is launching a ‘fully flexible’ long-term working approach as the legal industry begins to get back to business as usual in the UK. 

The new approach, which the firm said will put it among the most progressive in the legal industry in terms of workplace flexibility, was designed following a series of firm-wide consultations with employees and partners. 

Instead of implementing a solid return-to-office strategy, TLT’s approach will centre on offering more choice for employees so that they can work at ‘at a place and time that suits them, their clients and their role’ and enable a culture that is ‘inclusive of different working styles’.  

The approach will also include increased investment in new physical and digital environments geared towards fostering more connection and collaboration between employees. The firm said it intends to review the design of its office space as it transitions to its new working model.

To support the change, TLT is kicking off a multi-million pound investment programme over the next two years to develop a raft of new telecommunication and IT tools across the business, including upgraded workstations and improved hybrid meeting technologies.  

The firm currently has physical offices in Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Manchester, as well as a shipping team in Greece. 

Commenting on the move, John Wood, TLT’s managing partner said: “Covid-19 accelerated the move to flexible working overnight and proved what’s possible. We want to take the best of what we’ve learnt during the pandemic to deliver a working environment that our people tell us they want – with more choice about where, when and how they work and with the digital tools and culture that will enable flexibility.”

He added: “Each role is unique, each client is unique and a ‘one size fits all’ approach no longer serves what our people need, what our clients need or what the business needs.”

TLT’s post-pandemic plans will also play a ‘critical role’ in helping it achieve its sustainability goals, the firm said, by reducing travel times and cutting down on carbon emissions thanks to its flexible use of its office spaces and eventual office redesigns. 

Helen Hodgkinson, TLT’s chief people officer, said a core part of the firm’s work going forward will centre on continuing to embed the Mindful Business Charter, which it introduced during the pandemic.  

“Culture plays a critical role in people feeling able to take advantage of greater flexibility around where, how and when they work. Our focus will be as much on maintaining our supportive culture as the technology needed to deliver the programme successfully,” she said.  

TLT’s plans fall in line with the notion that the legal industry might see a more permanent shift to agile and remote working practices as the pandemic winds down. According to a recent poll by The Global Legal Post, more than three quarters of business lawyers are anticipating a permanent shift to home working once lockdown restrictions end, with mot believing this will improve work life balance and productivity. 

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