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Dear Anna,
I was converted to the benefits of working from home in 2020 and now I’m not so sure. What’s going on?

Public health orders either confirmed or convinced many about the benefits of working from home, but it wasn’t enough to make the change stick long term. That’s going to require working through three stages of change if we follow the sage advice of Shein, the author of a simple and powerful change model. Let’s apply it to your challenge.

Stage one is to unfreeze. COVID took care of even the most ardent sceptic about working from home. The defrosting might not have been by choice, but it sure did take place. Let’s move to stage two. Here, people try out the change, test how it goes and see if others are changing too. If you have found yourself devouring examples of how other lawyers make it work, perusing the smorgasbord of flexible work policies or relishing being the poster child for the new way of working you are starting to convince yourself of the benefits. But we are social creatures and that means we need stage three to really make the change stick.  

Stage three is called refreeze and it’s a cold reality check without the fireplace or the red wine. Instead, you have the below-zero challenge of thinking differently about yourself. Ask yourself, am I a “long-term, in any situation, for any employee no matter how good or bad their performance or attitude” supporter of flexible working?

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