Gowling WLG has launched a series of innovative new flexible working arrangements to its people in the UK.
The 'Agile+' scheme builds on the success of the firm's existing agile working policy and opens up a broader menu of flexible/alternative working patterns, including the option to spend up to 50% of time working from home for the long-term.
Working patterns being trialled through a series of pilot projects include flexible start and finish times, compressed working weeks and enabling people to shift working hours to early morning or late evening. A second phase is planned later in the year to explore more variable contracts such as flex up/down arrangements.
David Fennell, Chief Executive at Gowling WLG, said: "We've been working flexibly for several years and expanding this through Agile+ will support both our client service and the different needs and preferences of our people. Mixing time in the office and at home delivers the best of both worlds, and having experimented with a myriad of working arrangements over the last year we are keen to also embed that into Agile+ with a broader menu of alternative working patterns."
Gowling WLG has carried out regular internal pulse surveys and a 'flexible futures' consultation to gauge views throughout the pandemic – covering how and where people would like to work in the future, support for mental health and wellbeing, and identifying the key benefits of office and home working.
Further data and input was gathered through the firm's annual participation in the UK Best Workplaces survey compiled by Great Place to Work®. The firm has been ranked for 21 consecutive years and recognised in the top 10 best workplaces in the UK in 2020 and 2021.
Chris Oglethorpe, HR Director at Gowling WLG, said: "Our pulse surveys and Great Place to Work® have given us clear feedback that working from home has some valuable benefits that our people want to keep for the long-term, including reduced commuting, better work-life balance and wellbeing and improved productivity.
"Equally, we are a people business and a big part of our success comes down to the teamwork and relationships we build when we're together in the office. There are some things that virtual meetings just can't replicate and the resounding message from our people is that what they are missing the most about the office is connecting in person with colleagues and clients.
"We were already well on the road to a hybrid working model, and Agile+ will add another important dimension through more flexible working patterns and models, all of which adds to our supportive culture and our commitment to being a great place to work."
The firm's Agile+ pilot projects will run until throughout the summer, after which lessons learned will be reviewed with a view to implementing new arrangements from September.