Dazychain and the Association of Corporate Counsel conducted an online survey and interviews with corporate legal counsel in a range of industries across Australia on the post-pandemic future of in-house legal teams and their businesses.
With economic predictions varying wildly between business as usual and doomsday scenarios, we were keen to objectively measure the impact the pandemic has had on legal teams in Australia.
One important question we asked legal counsel was “Will working life change forever as a result of COVID-19, or will work go back to the way it was before?” Many respondents agreed that working life will change dramatically, while others questioned how long the changes to working life will remain. Business responses to COVID included working from home, the introduction of new technologies, pivoting, cost-cutting, strategy changes and moving activities online.
Some interesting respondent comments included:
- We have more remote working and better use of collaboration tools.
- Change will occur irrespective of whether a vaccine is found as we need to plan for workplaces that can adapt in the event of any similar future event.
- This will require conceptualising of Future of Work not just in terms of the work office but home as ‘workplace’.
- Remote working is going to be acceptable to all organisations.
- There are less meetings, less spending for PD, and now more options for working from home.
- There will be a new normal. It’s unclear what that will be but I don’t think things will go back to how they were.
- We are already seeing permanent changes to WFH procedures, hot desking, travel and file management to transition to WFH as a permanent option.
- Working life will eventually return to the way we knew it but I doubt that will happen within 3 years unless there is a COVID-19 immunisation.
- I doubt it will return to how it was, but I think that is a positive development.
- In some worthwhile ways, life is changed forever.
- Things will change, but it is difficult to foresee what changes will stick.
- We must find a new normal.
- We have advanced significantly in our use of technology and I don’t believe that will change.
- I think in the short to medium term there will be changes, but Australia’s lockdown has been relatively short and I can see everyone going back to life pre-COVID-19 by early next year if there are no further ‘second wave’ infections.
- There will be greater acceptance of flexible working because it’s been proven effective.
Look for the full report on our survey coming up at https://www.dazychain.com/