b'4 Local Government LawyerHome and awayDerek Bedlow looks at what the resultsof the research will mean for the future of working life for local governmentlawyers.The scale of remote working in local government legal departments during lockdown was near total: 89% of local authority lawyers hours were worked remotely during the lockdown period over the spring and summer of 2020. To some extent, many local authorities were more prepared than other organisations for remote working, given that many councils already operated flexi-working schemespre-Covid, on average 29% of local authority lawyers time was already worked remotely. However, the speed at which lockdown was imposed by the government back in March meant that, for many, remote working was not without its teething problems.The survey found, however, that by theTable 1: How do the following aspects of your work compare to pre Covid-19 days? (General survey)summer some of these issues had been resolved or ameliorated, and that, on balance,5%more lawyers have found the experienceOverall morale/wellbeing (related to work) 14% 24% 32% 25%positive than negative. 8%One consequence of remote working is that the number of hours put in by localStress levels 12% 21% 32% 27%authority lawyers has increased, but that the flexibility of when the work is done5%has improved. So while twice as manyWork/life balance 29% 28% 17% 21%respondents (29%) to the general staff survey said that the number of hours they wereFlexibility of working hours 30% 38% 24% 6% 2%required to do since lockdown had got worse or much worse rather than better (Table 1),5%more than two-thirds (68%) said that theNumber of hours worked 7%9% 53% 24%flexibility of working hours had improved. This may explain why, despite the workload of lawyers going up, far more feel that theirMuch Beer Beer Same Worse Much worsework-life balance has improved (57%) than'