Simmons encourages lawyers and staff to stay at home

Simmons & Simmons is rolling out a firmwide policy that will make it easier for staff to work from home.

The top 15 firm is overhauling its flexible-working policy, examining both technology and time spent in the office.

Managing partner Mark Dawkins said: “It’s my personal view that, with all the available technology today, lawyers ought to work more from home. We’re trying to translate that into a policy.”

Aside from client-facing time, Dawkins said the difficulty was in striking a balance between time spent usefully at home and encouraging a feeling of teamwork in the office.

Simmons’ capital markets group piloted a technology push that enables working from home, using Black-Berries, laptops and phones. Other groups looked at working-time preferences.

Simmons HR director Anita Tovell said: “The key to flexible working is providing the right technology and the skill-set to work with it. But it’s also about generating the atmosphere where flexible working is thought to be possible and encouraged.”

There will be no set hours that could be spent at home and each case will be examined on an ad hoc basis.

Support staff will also be able to take advantage of the initiative.