At Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS), our purpose is ‘to improve lives, communities, and society’. This is not only reflected in the clients we work with and the sectors we support but also in how we serve our own people.
When the pandemic hit, everyone experienced fear, uncertainty, and a host of other emotions. Our clients relied on us for legal advice as they tried to navigate the unknown. To do this effectively, our people also needed emotional and practical support.
The ACS central management team explored the best ways to help everyone, from individuals facing mental health issues as a result of lockdown to employees who needed the equipment to safely and effectively carry out their role at home.
When the ACS team realised the need for an informal way to reach out to others, ‘Anthony’s’ was born. To combat the feelings of being alone at home during lockdown, this virtual social club ran after work hours. Anyone at the firm was encouraged to join for a friendly chat, providing a connection between old and new colleagues. It offered more than just conversation with breakout rooms where there were activities such as virtual jigsaws.
Within the firm, we also have seven mental health first-aiders. At the height of the pandemic, they used their training to spot the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues, provide support, and guide individuals to seek professional support when they felt it was needed.
“Taking the course was beneficial to my own mental health and I am happy to use the training to help where it is needed with my colleagues.”
ACS mental health first aider
Working at home has meant changing the way we work at ACS. To address this shift, we introduced our Hybrid Working Policy which was designed to help managers maintain a supportive and collaborative culture while teams work more remotely. This was created with the input of employee representatives and line managers, giving the ACS community the opportunity to raise suggestions, questions and concerns.
When remote working was enforced, the demand for IT equipment rocketed, but we distributed laptops to all our people as soon as practically possible. This meant everyone at ACS could work flexibly and comfortably either at home or the ACS offices, without being fixed to one place during working hours or using older and slower IT systems.
As the pandemic continues and hybrid working has become the norm, it’s good to know that our purpose supported us through an extremely difficult time and will be there for us in the future.
“We are definitely nowhere near where we started 23 months ago. We are a more confident, capable, social purpose law firm that is committed to serving our clients and wider society at such a challenging time. We have all played a part in our success during the pandemic; being committed and supportive to our colleagues has allowed us to continue giving wise counsel to our clients who turn to us as an essential partner for social change.”
Peter Hubbard, senior partner, Anthony Collins Solicitors
Social mobility is at the core of our mission and values here at Anthony Collins Solicitors.
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