"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow", say Legal Workflow

I work from home most of the time, but when I call my lawyer clients they are almost invariably in the office. All that changes when heavy snowfalls made travelling very hazardous. Suddenly, lawyers up and down the country are logging onto their networks from home studies, dining tables and garden sheds.

A common theme emerges when I talk to these stranded souls. Making allowances for being caught out by the speed at which winter descends, most of my colleagues enthuse about how productive they are compared with their usual routines.
No distractions, travel time replaced by remunerative activity, no office politics, all contribute to improvements in quality and quantity of output, greater energy and a general feeling of well being.

No need to talk about how technology makes this possible. We know that the internet makes web accessed servers and applications, email, conference calls, video conferencing and so on all possible. These thoughts are more to do with why we take advantage of these facilities only when we have to.

Do we fill roads, trains and buses twice a day, five days a week, because we want to work that way, or just because it’s conventional? 

The twentieth century invented the office as we know it and until the running out of the millennium that environment made a lot of sense. 

It created and maintained the infrastructure needed to enable people to work together for a common purpose. This rationale is less compelling these days, as we prove when the snow falls.

Once the thaw is under way, the big commute is back on. Will it take a new Ice Age for that to change for good?

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