Angharad Warren
Angharad Warren

Articles From the Team

Should I consider London and other far flung opportunities that aren’t commutable on a daily basis?

As we ease out of Covid restrictions and start to see some return to the office, the long term impact that the pandemic has had on how and where we work will continue.  Most firms will be far more flexible moving forward and a blended home/office working week is here to stay.  In light of this, I’m increasingly told by candidates that they will now consider a far wider geographic reach when looking at potential new opportunities if they can work from home a couple of days a week (or for fully remote roles).  Jobs which would have previously been too far away to commute to on a daily basis now feel within reach and for those of you in the Midlands this opens up the London market!

Given the difference between London and regional salaries, it’s easy to see why it might be an attractive option particularly at the moment when we are mostly still working from home!  Who wouldn’t want to get paid a London weighed salary for doing a very similar job to what you are doing currently and not having to face the tube every day?! 

There is however a lot to consider before deciding if a fully remote role or a role outside of a reasonable commuting distance is the right career move for you, so as a bit of a sense check, think about the following before deciding…

  • If you are going to have to commute a few days a week then longer working days are inevitable, can you commit the time that would be required?
  • If you are considering a fully remote role – will you miss the office culture, relationships, banter, biscuits and after work socials?
  • Personal relationships can suffer if you are away from home more, so think about the impact a lengthy commute even 2/3 days a week would have on your family/friendship circle.
  • Promotion and progression is likely to be harder to achieve if you are only in the office sporadically, even harder again if you are fully remote.  Those who work their way up the career ladder quickly usually forge very strong relationships with the partners they work under and also with their wider team – doing this from home all or most of the time is a lot harder to achieve.
  • Visibility helps with progression, if you aren’t working alongside decision makers, it can be harder to get noticed.
  • As lawyers, you tend to learn a lot by osmosis – for junior lawyers, consider how this will be affected if you aren’t working alongside more experienced colleagues on a regular basis.
  • Your network - it makes sense to build your network where you are based. 
  • Developing your own client base is one route to partnership, local client relationships are generally easier to build than national/international ones, particularly pre partner level.
  • Check the terms of your contract if you do take on a role outside of a reasonable commuting distance, is the agreed working pattern written in?
  • Stress-related health issues are more prevalent among those with a longer commutes so if you are going to have to be present a few days a week give some thought to the health implications.  A long commute is said to impact mental health, blood pressure, risk of heart attacks and even the frequency of colds/flu.
  • Performance – this can be impacted hugely by fatigue and lateness is more likely with a long commute.
  • If you do have your sights set on London then bear in mind that the London market was already tough and it’s now going to be even more competitive so have some back up options!

Depending on your long term career aspirations, it may be that a fully remote role or a role where you are only required in the office once a week will work brilliantly, so discuss your thoughts with us and we can guide you in terms of the various opportunities we are working on and which would work best for you and your personal circumstances.

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