Womble Bond Dickinson launches hybrid work model

Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has revealed plans to adopt a hybrid working model at all its UK offices from September.

All 1,100 UK employees at the company will have the flexibility to combine home and office working by blending their personal preferences with the needs of the business and clients. This will be without any mandatory requirements set across the firm other than for those in learning roles.

The decision has followed a company-wide staff and partner survey, which asked how lawyers, professional advisers and business professionals wanted to work post-Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The model will enable staff to decide whether they want to be a homeworker, an office-based worker with the possibility of working from home on an occasional basis, or a hybrid worker, where they can split their time between working at both and have the flexibility to choose if and when they go into the office.

Jonathan Blair, WBD’s UK managing partner, explained that staff were asked how they had found the past year and how they would prefer to work in the long term, with a large majority saying they wanted a blend of home and office working to become a permanent feature of how the business operates.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, he commented, many of members of staff also said they were missing the office environment and wanting to socialise more, as well as hoping to improve cross-team collaboration, support new joiners and make the most out of on-site training opportunities.

“Our new approach builds on the huge progress we have made over the last year and acknowledges the incredible work of our people in that time. As we open our offices up, a more flexible, hybrid model of working will bring efficiencies in the way we spend our time, as well as making a continued impact on our environmental sustainability, reducing travel and our carbon footprint,” Blair added.