The Virtual Office?

Thank you to a reader of the Legal Soapbox for suggesting this blog topic. I have been alerted to the fact that in the UK, there are some people who commute from Barcelona to London because it’s cheaper than living in one of those outer London suburbs. Yep, I’m serious.

Apparently, you can get one-way flights from London to Barcelona for as little as £15.99 plus charges if you book in advance. The standard day single train fare from Basingstoke to London Waterloo is £15.40.

Which brings me on to the point of this post. If people are taking such extraordinary measures to get into the office…how necessary is it to be in the office at all? My colleague said that she is surprised there are not more “work from home” options as a solicitor. She pointed out that e-mail is the prime method of communication, and all the library resources are online. Litigators could come in for court appearances – and rather than requiring clients to come in for conferences, lawyers could go to the client.

One thing that I would miss about working purely from home is the camaraderie…and morning tea! Also, it might be hard to maintain my professional veneer if my baby started to scream while I was on the phone to a client.

But it’s an interesting idea, worth considering. Law firms should think outside the square and consider whether such an idea is workable for a few days a week. Certainly seems more sensible than commuting from Barcelona!


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