updated on 15 August 2023
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City law firm Vinson & Elkins RLLP has announced the implementation of a new policy requiring its employees to work from the office for at least four days each week.
At present, members of the firm are permitted to work from home twice a week, but from September staff will be required to work from the office either Monday to Thursday, or Tuesday to Friday.
This policy will be applied to all 12 of the firm’s office locations, which span from the UK to the US to Tokyo and Dubai.
Since the pandemic, the firm, like many others, has sought to “balance the dual goals of maximising our time together in the office while also embracing remote flexibility”; however, the firm now wants to set clear guidelines on when employees should work from home.
Vinson & Elkins has said the move is partly in response to employees feeling that there’s been a loss of connectivity among staff, the firm said employees have reported feeling this “is jeopardized when a substantial number of our people are away from the office on any given day”.
By implementing specified days employees can work from home, while still affording a level of flexibility by allowing employees to decide whether this is Monday or Friday, the firm hopes to address any connectivity issues within teams.
The move is part of what has been coined a “full-blown Biglaw trend” as Vinson & Elkins follow the likes of Davis Polk & Wardwell London LLP, Ropes & Gray International LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP.