52 weeks ago today… Pt. II

52 weeks ago today we were in our second day of homeworking. Will and I were still having our morning Cobra meetings at 9am to plan and identify any teething issues which needed to be resolved. Today was also one of the Team’s birthday and we had organised for everyone to make a banner wishing her Happy Birthday at both of our daily Skype meetings. At least this year the team who are in office were able to do this face to face.

During our two daily Skype meetings we would all be sharing updates/guidance from the judiciary and the courts about remote working, plus from the Legal Aid Agency which resulted in rolling out major changes to how we drafted court orders to reflect attendance times on remote hearings. Lots of discussions were had on whether remote hearings were being dealt with via Skype, Teams, BT Meet or Zoom and how these were organised. These were all very new ways of practising to us all, but have become the norm now and it feels strange having to put your suit on and actually attend court in person.

It became apparent that we would need somebody to go into the office on a daily basis to open the post and the DX and scan it to the fee earners working at home. At our morning Skype meeting with the support staff I was pleased to hear that all of the support staff based in our Birmingham office were happy to go into the office on a rota basis to sort the post, catch up with their own Team’s filing and deal with any scanning. I was eternally grateful to them all for pulling together as a team and this system worked for nearly 3 months.

In dealing with all of these “new ways of working” it was still at the forefront of my mind that it was my job to keep morale up, keep a high level of positivity amongst us all and reassure my Team that there would be an end in sight.