We are now well into September. The holidays are behind us and in the early morning there is a slight scent of autumn in the air. The legal industry almost desperately needed the summer break. The workload has been high and the work from home left everyone fatigued. After we re-energize, things will surely be better, or will they?
Around the world, companies and law firms alike are trying to get to grips with the future of work. Are we going to ask everyone to get back to the office, or can people continue to work from home? Are we going to demand that everyone at the office is fully vaccinated or at least can show a recent negative test result, or do we consider this outside the domain of an employer? Can we organize larger in-person events like seminars or even a partner retreat, or is this still too risky?
These topics are simultaneously on the table in boardrooms around the world. They are wrapped in uncertainty regarding resurgence of the virus, the effect of vaccinations and how governments are going to respond. We are absolutely not out of the woods yet, and it seems that no one know what the endgame will be. Will mask wearing become as normal as let’s say wearing socks?
This month traveling came back with a vengeance
Just looking at our own situation at the moment, there has been a seismic shift. After one and a half year working from behind our screens, now there is a frenzy of in-person meetings. It seems as if everyone is seizing the possibly short window of opportunity to schedule meetings, lunches, dinners and partner-retreats. That means that this month we will be clocking more airmiles than in the whole 20 months before. What also becomes apparent is that the easing of restrictions is not evenly spread around the developed world, or even Europe.
As some of you may know, I am a strong believer in the power of binging people together in one room, one building or even one business district. A recent academic study showed that this even creates measurable economic benefits. Brought together people and businesses are more creative and make more money than if they are alone. After the demise of Kodak, other businesses in Rochester New York, which were totally unrelated to Kodak, produced fewer patents and the patents that were created were of less value and importance. If a successful company takes office in an office building, on average the revenue of the other businesses in that same building grows by 2%. People do become more successful if they are part of an ecosystem. This builds a compelling case for getting everyone back to the office and for maintaining in-person relationships. Remote working and Zoom simply don’t cut it.
We need to focus on sustainability!
To be frank, on the one hand I feel happy that we can finally meet our clients again in person after more than one and a half year. Our clients are happy that their partners can meet. Associates are happy that they can hang out with their team and their peers. On the other hand, personally I feel guilty about the vast amount of air-travel that I am going to do and I know that this will not be sustainable on the long run. Something will need to change.
At TGO Consulting we have committed ourselves to reducing our carbon-footprint by 33% over the next three years (as compared to 2019). As air travel out of all the things we do has the highest impact, it will mean that we will travel less and on top of that we will compensate for all CO2 emissions each time we do travel. All this means that, as far as we are concerned, Zoom is here to stay. Easily 33% of all meetings can be done remotely, especially those about operational or factual matters. We are encouraging all our clients to do the same!
Introducing Mansi Jasuja
Over the past two years or so, we noticed that businesses are increasingly asking their law firms question on sustainability and diversity. Today this topic is almost universally part of any RFP or pitch. For law firms it is getting harder to get on a panel or remain on a panel if they cannot show that they have at least some sort of sustainability and diversity policy in place. It is not only clients that ask inconvenient questions, but also recruits are shunning firms that do not care about sustainability and diversity.
Because we care about sustainability and diversity ourselves, and because we increasingly get questions from our clients, and because we see a wider need and opportunity in the market, we have set up a Sustainability Practice and developed the TGO Sustainability Scan©. Both are now ready for launch.
Our Sustainability practice, which also includes diversity, is headed by Mansi Jasuja. Mansi has an impressive track-record and over a decade of experience with international companies and organizations. We are thrilled to have Mansi as part of our team.
The TGO Sustainability Scan© has been developed and perfected over the past year. It is, to the best of our knowledge, the first of it’s kind specifically tailored to the legal industry. The scan will comprise all aspects of sustainability and diversity in a firm. It will provide law firm leaders with a clear and practical overview of the current state and provide actionable handles for improvement. It is advisable to repeat the TGO Sustainability Scan© on a yearly basis in order to track progress. It provides law firms around the world with a meaningful answer when clients or recruits ask the questions.
If you are interested in improving your sustainability and diversity score, just send an email to: email@example.com