I think I might have to start with an apology for yet another article about working from home. Unfortunately, having started my training contract literally on the day that the third lockdown was announced, it is all I know. But I promise this one is different: it's all about the benefits of working from home.
And no, it's not an article entirely about my love for jogging bottoms and leftovers for lunch, wonderful though these things are…
Meeting and working with people I wouldn't get the chance to previously
My first seat is in the housing and property litigation department. This department spans two offices: one in Putney and one in Bedford Row in central London. I would be sitting in the Bedford Row office which naturally means I would mostly be working with people in the same building. However, with everyone working from home geography is irrelevant. I will be able to meet and work with those in the Putney office as if we were in the same building.
Getting extra time with my supervisor
My supervisor has been incredibly understanding about the difficulties of training from home. One of the main benefits of being in the office is sitting in the same room as someone who actually knows what they're doing. My supervisor was quick to reassure me that he knew this was a downfall of working from home and has been extra vigilant at making sure I have work and giving me detailed feedback. He's also made sure I've been sat in meetings with him so I don't miss out on hearing how he works with clients.
Plenty of opportunities to socialise
Okay so I'm not going to pretend that this aspect of WFH is as good as it would be. But I have been pleasantly surprised at how the firm has put a lot of effort into keeping us all in touch. Before starting my training contract, I attended the now virtual seat presentation evening. This allowed me to get just as good an insight into the different seats and was a really nice opportunity to meet the people I'd be working with – including the other trainees in my intake.
Because we're all missing the social aspect of being in the office, everyone's making an extra effort. I'm at the end of my first week and we've had two informally arranged virtual drinks where we all got to know each other and talked about how great it will be when we can actually sit in a pub together after work.
The department I'm in has also been lovely and welcoming and I've been able to meet everyone at the weekly coffee morning that they have.
An excuse to hide my shocking IT skills
Possibly the biggest perk for me. Problem with the IT equipment? No no it's not my incredible ineptitude at all things technology-related, it's just the confusion of working from home! And by the time we're all in the office, I'll be at least semi-familiar with how everything works and no one will ever know. Until I confess it in an article on the firm's website I guess.
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