The last year has changed our way of thinking. When we meet up again after the summer, the best of Thommessen will be combined with new experiences and new learning about how we want to work together.
We have experimented with various digital collaboration formats over the last year. And we have nailed it! Working from home used to be the exception, but we have come to appreciate the value of being able to work outside the office. We have also seen this bringing our teams in Stavanger, Bergen, London and Oslo more closely together. We are working as one firm – on specific cases, with our clients and in developing the firm. In planning how to work post Covid-19, we have sought to strike a balance between flexibility on the one hand, and fellowship and team spirit on the other hand.
Our Oslo office is relocating to new premises – VIA in Vika – at the end of August. After over a year of having mostly worked from home, we really look forward to meeting up again. The office shall be our nexus – somewhere we want to come in order to meet each other and to work well with both colleagues and clients. It is nonetheless important for us to be able to also work efficiently and effectively, and to feel included, when we are working elsewhere and across our offices.
These are our headline priorities for operationalising an even better Thommessen post Covid-19:
- Flexibility + fellowship: It is clear to many of us that we have never been as productive as during this period of working from home. We believe that the flexibility to work from home will increase satisfaction, without reducing productivity – quite the contrary. We will keep the flexibility of the last year, while at the same time meeting up physically, experiencing a sense of fellowship and having fun together. At Thommessen, each of us will be able to decide, based on the project framework, the best place to work. We will apply a 3:2 model – three office days and two optional days – and will organise our operations to facilitate this for everyone.
- Activity-based work: Our new VIA premises are specifically designed to encourage teamwork, knowledge transfer and innovation – which we believe are key to creating the law firm of the future. It will be a dynamic and flexible workplace. Everyone will have an office space of their own, but we expect it to be used less because people will move around the premises and have more choices. When you are in the office, you choose where to work based on what you want to get done and who you are going to work with. Everyone is free to also work from home when that is the best option.
- Digital communications: Digital communications have boosted interdisciplinary cooperation at Thommessen in the last year. This will be continued. By keeping Teams as our key channel of internal communication, and the default option for internal/operational meetings, we ensure effective collaboration across the firm and include everyone – irrespective of where they work from. There have been fewer physical meetings with clients during the last year, but through frequent video meetings and webinars we have focused on understanding the clients and their challenges. Although we look forward to seeing clients more going forward, we will also continue to share our knowledge digitally through webinars and streaming events.
- Test, learn, adapt: Last, but not least: Nothing is cast in stone – we will test, learn and adapt along the way. One aspect of this is our involvement in an OsloMet research project studying the significance of how we work and where we work from, on interaction and knowledge sharing.
We are excited about the imminent upgrade to hybrid office working after a long stint of working from home!