"Flexible working provides a great opportunity to change the perception of law away from the stuffy, inaccessible and elitist industry to one that values self-development and overall well-being. "
5 ways law firms can benefit from flexible working
2020 has seen a massive rise in the number of people working from home and flexible working has been a topic on everybody’s lips. The working world finally seems to be catching up and we’re seeing more and more businesses embrace the fact that there’s more to work than the typical nine to five.
The benefits of flexible working are huge, from higher staff retention rates and employee motivation to increased diversity and more a positive company culture. But there still exists the false belief that flexible working simply doesn’t work within certain industries. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Flexible working can benefit any sector, including law. It can take many forms and the benefits can often serve as a solution to some of the common issues that arise within a law firm environment such as poor work-life balance or clients and business partners across a variety of time zones.
Dubious about how your law firm can benefit from flexible working? Here are 5 things to consider.
It's more affordable
Hiring people on a flexible basis to work on specific cases is more affordable and can mean that lawyers can work on the cases that they are most qualified and interested in. Flexible working doesn’t only provide flexibility to the employee but also the employer and businesses budget.
It keeps lawyers engaged
Many people enjoy a wider variety of work and can be stimulated by a diverse range of cases. The freedom provided by flexible working can be seen as liberating and therefore can result in a higher quality of work and a more engaged team.
People who are challenged cannot rely on only on past experiences but are forced to engage, learn and stretch themselves on every new case.
It broadens skillset
Similarly, those who work flexibly are given the opportunity to hone a variety of skills and are expected to develop the ability to jump into any case with confidence.
Flexible workers have a large arsenal of skills and experiences to draw upon. They are able to perform well across the board and develop both specific and transferable skills within their legal and professional practices.
It reduces stress
Having more time to themselves and more control over their time can massively improve a person's mental health. A less stressed member of the team is a more member of the team.
It has been proven time and time again that as humans we perform best when our mental and emotional health is taken care of. Being conscious of the mental wellbeing of your team will not only improve your relationship with them but lead to happier, more loyal and hardworking staff.
It promotes gender diversity
Flexible working promotes better gender diversity, especially at partner level. This is because lots of women fall out post-motherhood. In 2018 only 19% of equity partners in British law firms were women according to PwC, the consultancy. Even in 2020, women are still responsible for the majority of childcare and child-raising. Flexible working can prevent women from ‘falling behind’ while having a family or taking maternity leave and allow for more women to climb the career ladder in law.
Flexible working provides a great opportunity to change the perception of law away from the stuffy, inaccessible and elitist industry to one that values self-development and overall well-being. There’s really no excuse for law firms to not make flexible working available to those who want it. We live in a world that is constantly changing and adapting. The best businesses, law firms included, know that the best way to succeed is to change and adapt with it.