DLA Piper office commits to fully flexible working; Slaughter and May trials flexible options

updated on 04 August 2021

A “fully flexible workspace” is available to all staff working in DLA Piper’s Birmingham office, following its move to the Paradise Birmingham Development – a move that was in the works before the pandemic hit last year.

While covid-19 “complicated” the firm’s plans to relocate its Birmingham HQ, it also provided an opportunity “to think about what our clients and people will need from an office in future”, according to Trevor Ivory, Birmingham managing partner.

The office is a new space that reflects the “post-pandemic work culture of splitting time between home and office” and has been designed to the highest environmental standards.

Designer Fiona Sharp said: “The workspace provides unparalleled choice with a wide variety of work settings to suit each individual’s needs from single focus rooms up to larger team huddle areas, and embraces hybrid working with departments clustered in neighbourhood groups.”

The firm is expecting to see “a gradual return to the new office over the next few months”.

Meanwhile, Slaughter and May has announced that it is testing several part-time working schemes, following the government’s decision to lift covid-19 restrictions enabling offices to reopen their doors to staff.

The magic circle firm’s lawyers will have access to three options:

  • Solicitors can cut their hours by up to 20% and take planned holidays in line with school holidays, for example. This option will enable lawyers to continue working five days a week between their pre-arranged holiday.
  • Solicitors can cut their hours by 20% and take unpaid annual leave in addition to their yearly allowance, dependent on the status of transactions they’re working on.
  • Job shares can be arranged between two solicitors at either the same level or between a junior and senior associate. Associates will be expected to be in the office three days a week, including one day that overlaps.

Other firms have also introduced alternative working options in light of the past year.