Clifford Chance eyes £1m of savings with trial of open-plan working

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  • They trialled open plan working for lawyers within my firm - it literally lasted months before everyone complained so much about the noise that they moved everyone back to offices and shunted business services into the space instead.

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  • Another nail in the coffin of the idea of corporate lawyers still being members of a profession rather than glorifed call centre workers

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  • Hard luck guys.
    From bitter personal experience, open plan is a complete disaster when it comes to productivity and quality of environment to work in....

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  • Save £1m in business rates, but lose ten times that in productivity and quality of work. Initially clients will pay a little more as each piece of work takes longer to achieve and they get billed for the extra hours, then CC will suffer as clients realize the quality isn't there any more. A staggeringly short-sighted move.

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  • I love the comments that come from the legal profession when discussing open plan. With the right planning and building design to help support lawyers, it can and does work.
    It's not the answer to everything. There are pros and cons to having an office or being open plan. Go with whatever works for the business.
    But if people are going to snobbily equate losing an office to working in a call centre, then they need to grow up.

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  • Open plan at a "city" law firm is currently making me consider leaving the profession. I'm in a "pod" of 6 people that is smaller than my old office for two, and Jeremy Bentham would be proud of the feeling you get.

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  • What happens when you need to have information barriers in an auction? I doubt they will be able to satisfy with the SRA’s requirements with an open plan office.

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  • Codswallop to all four of you! My firm (City, 500+ lawyers but not as high-falutin as yours no doubt) has been totally open plan for the past three years - and guess what, the sky hasn't fallen in.

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  • Ha ha ha! That'll last 5 weeks. One shouty partner on a day long conference call and they will all be back to separate offices. And who will ask the secretaries to keep quiet?

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  • Dino, I work in an open plan office too. It sucks.

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