Home working on the increase, survey says

Technological advances in law firms are increasing the trend for working from home. In a recent survey among 600 firms, 54 per cent of of law and accountancy practice members said they work from home at least once a week.

The survey, conducted by law, business and tax publishers Tolley into the working practices of its customers, showed 59 per cent of respondents have access to a PC at home, compared with 71 per cent who use one in the office. Seventeen per cent of people use email in the office, either on an internal network, to gain access to the Internet or to enable contact between home and office. Twelve per cent have their home PC connected to a modem. And CD-ROMs are used in 11 per cent of offices and 12 per cent of homes.

The speed with which practices are responding to change was highlighted with more than 50 per cent of respondents saying they expect to get all the professional information they need from their PC within the next five years.

Nick Sharp, development and support engineer at Eversheds, said: "We provide fee earners with either desktop PCs at home or laptops, free connection to email and facilities for downloading and accessing files, so there has certainly been a move towards working from home at Eversheds."

Martin Telfer, IT director at Masons, said the firm fully supported any staff who want to work from home.