With most IP professionals either working from home or on a rotation system in an office, I wanted to explore what the future holds, if this will become the new ‘norm’ and how this may affect the IP industry.
It has been widely reported that a lot of businesses have started to realise they are still able to function this way, if not at 100% then certainly at a level capable of serving clients in a firm or continuing to run an IP department in industry.
The financial sector appears to be coming to a realisation that there may be considerable cost savings by having a more ‘flexible’ workforce and I think a lot of companies will start to seriously think if they need such large premises. Most likely industries that are not front-line services or manufacturing plants will start thinking the same and the financial savings could help businesses who expect to see tough times ahead.
Furthermore, I believe this will have an impact on recruitment in the long term. If a business is still able to function with a remote workforce then does it matter where an individual is based?
This may be a huge benefit to firms who traditionally find it difficult to recruit due to their geographical location. Another positive is the perfect person for the job may not be able to relocate which could result on missing out on an important hire; this could open the talent pool and choice and give businesses more flexibility in the decision making process.
Technology is also key to this and we expect to see a surge of tech companies developing innovative ways of working remotely combined with better audio / video technologies. To quote Albert Einstein: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
In the run up to this pandemic a lot of businesses had already started adopting change, I would say most of the Attorneys we speak with are already working from home 1- 2 days a week. Working from home will become easier once restrictions on schools are lifted, but the world may become a very different place in the coming years.
However, as with all positives there are negatives. Dramatic change can be difficult for some to embrace, we have seen this with firms who have moved from a traditional type of office to open plan. Firms and businesses may also see this as an opportunity to push salaries down if less travel is involved to and from the workplace.
With innovation being at the heart of IP there will still be an emphasis on strong channels of communication with engineers, legal and IP teams. Particularly in industry as it is crucial that there is that physical presence where it is much easier to communicate effectively turning complex technical jargon into easy to understand language, which can then be patented while maintaining the spirit of the invention.
These are indeed strange times and I suspect the world will be a slightly different place to inhabit and work in when this over. That said and as mentioned, opportunities may come out of this crisis…
On a final note I am keen to hear from the industry, whether you are in private practice or business, I may wish to explore these in a follow up piece. If you would like to get in touch directly, or set up a call please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For now, stay safe!
Caselton Clark are a specialist Intellectual Property recruitment company. If you would like to speak further about your IP recruitment needs then please get in touch:
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