By Sanjeev Sharma
New Delhi, Oct 25 (IANS) In a probable first for the legal industry and professional services industry, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM), Indias leading law firm has announced the adoption of a permanent dynamic working policy which allows employees to work in a combination of onsite (WFO), and offsite, work from home (WFH) and work from anywhere (WFA).
At the start of the pandemic the firm transitioned overnight to a remote-only model and has seamlessly advised clients through this model for over seven months. Pending the resolution of the health crisis, the firm will continue the current work-from-home arrangement till March 31, 2021. The new long term dynamic working policy will become effective in due course thereafter. “We believe we are the first law firm to announce this and expect that this will set the benchmark,” the firm said. This is among the first formal models tailored for post Covid digital world are being rolled out, atleast in legal industry.
The Dynamic Working Policy sets out 5 models ranging from ‘work from office’ to ‘work from anywhere’ and even introduces ‘Flexi Lawyering’.
Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas told IANS, “The cornerstone of the dynamic working facility is to provide a range of flexibility to the workforce. It is based on trust in the absence of a monitoring environment. There will be no difference in compensation or career progression depending on the options chosen.”
Shroff said the Work From Anywhere option gives flexibility to hire talent from anywhere, including international talent.
On whether the firm was thinking about it earlier, Shroff said: “The thought was always there but it has been accelerated by the pandemic. It’s like 2030 arrived in 2020. There is now greater acceptance for remote working.”
On the future of the office, Shroff said, “The office will not disappear. It will become a collaborative space. The interior design of the office will change. It will also mean one office at home and a move towards suburban living.”
Shroff said that there will be smaller offices and real estate costs will come down while the tech costs will go up. “While the Indian economy will come back stronger, the smart companies and firms will reorient themselves,” Shroff added.
Keeping in mind the evolving aspirations of talent, the digital transformation of the ‘office’, and the criticality of diversity for success and growth, the Firm has delved deeply into the future of work and re-imagined its processes to be future ready. This follows extensive consultations and deliberations over the last few months.
Shroff said, “We have adopted dynamic working models that are aligned with the future of work, built on a world class digital infrastructure and aimed towards enhancing productivity and our talent experience. We are ready to bring in the transformative change to lead the legal industry.’
“In multiple surveys of our lawyers and future lawyers (including law students from 16 Law Schools) and other stakeholders, we found that a significant majority expressed a strong preference for flexibility in ways of working. With diversity as a central pillar of our organization, we have opted for a policy that recognizes that “no one size fits all” and enables an environment that sets our talent up for optimal productivity and success”, he added.
The new working model is built on physical and technological infrastructure that preserves the firm culture, furthers our ‘ahead of the curve’ mindset, promotes collaboration, continues the apprenticeship model, and protects the personal space of our staff. The Firm will progressively strive towards operating on a paperless basis and has increased its confidentiality and cyber security protocols.
India’s Leading Law Firm, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas was founded on May 11, 2015 and takes forward the values going back 103 years, of the erstwhile Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co. Tracing its professional lineage to 1917, the Firm has over 750 lawyers, including 137 partners, and offices in India’s key business centres at Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad.
(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at [email protected])