UK law firm TLT has today announced a significant, long-term shift in its working practices to create a fully flexible, progressive and inclusive work environment. The new approach – grounded in firm wide consultations with employees and partners – will put TLT among the legal industry’s most progressive firms in terms of workplace flexibility.
The firm’s approach includes three commitments: to provide more choice so that employees can work at a place and time that suits them, their clients and their role; to support that choice by investing in new physical and digital environments so that employees can connect, collaborate and innovate effectively no matter how they work; and, importantly, to support the transition by enabling a culture that is inclusive of different working styles.
To support the change, the firm is kicking off a multi-million pound investment programme over the next two years to deliver a digital and physical workplace to support choice, inclusion and sustainability. That programme will see the roll out of new telecommunication and IT tools across the business including upgraded workstations, improved hybrid meeting technologies and new collaboration tools.
The firm is also reviewing the design of its office space to suit likely changes in how people will use it in the future, recognising its role as a collaboration and meeting space as much as a work space. That programme of work will be guided by ongoing employee engagement, and analysis of how people use the offices when that option is more consistently available.
The changes in how people across the firm work will also play a critical role in helping TLT achieve its sustainability goals. Reduced travel and flexible use of office space will result in an initial reduction in carbon emissions in the short-term, supplemented by further reductions in the medium-term through office redesigns and any evolution of the firm’s office footprint over the longer-term.
TLT’s Managing Partner John Wood commented: “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.
“This approach is about trusting our people – they can make the best decision about what will work for them, their teams and their clients. 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.
“Our progressive approach makes absolute commercial sense – it will help us attract and retain the best people, including from new geographic talent pools; it will help us on our journey to net zero; and it will empower our people to be at their best, ensuring that we can continue to build on our momentum and deliver for clients.”
TLT’s Chief People Officer Helen Hodgkinson commented: “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. A core part of our work will centre on continuing to embed the Mindful Business Charter, which provided an invaluable framework during the pandemic and which we see as an integral part of our future workplace.”