Stephenson Harwood, a London law firm, has given its employees the opportunity to work from home as often as they want in return for a 20% pay cut. Stephenson Harwood is one of the top 50 highest-earning legal firms in the UK. The firm has more than 1,100 employees and has offices in Paris, Greece, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea. The firm is offering lawyers and other staff the option as London-based firms try to move beyond solely office-based working in a post-pandemic cultural shift to flexible and remote models. According to a Guardian report, junior lawyers at the firm have starting salaries of £90,000 which means anyone taking up the offer will lose about £18,000.
The Guardian also reported that the new working policy would apply to staff at its London office and most of the company’s international offices. The policy comes after the company started hiring remote workers irrespective of their location, in the midst of the pandemic. However, the company said it expected only a few staff to take up the full-time work from home option as the majority of them prefer a hybrid model.
This announcement comes at a time when the company’s staff already had the option of working remotely for two days a week.
Other than being employee-friendly, academic studies have suggested that remote working can enhance productivity. A study by a Sanford University professor has predicted that at least 10% of the global workforce will continue to work remotely even after all COVID-19-related restrictions are lifted.