Flexible working is a term that more and more lawyers are now putting on their tick list when deciding to move jobs. It’s not only working mums (and dads!) coming back from maternity leave, since the right to request flexible working became open to all those employees with at least 26 weeks service, not just parents or carers, it is now becoming more common place.
The fear factor of not being able to move jobs due to having a ‘good thing’ in terms of flexible working in your current role seems to have abated and there is more confidence that this can be negotiated into a new role, even to the extent that some law firms are advertising ‘flexible working’ as a selling point to the firm.
What does ‘flexible working’ mean? It can be part-time or compressed hours, working from home (agile working), it generally leads to a better work/life balance, something most of us seek but are worried will have a negative impact on our careers. Research indicates that in fact there are many positive benefits associated with a more flexible workforce including greater staff loyalty and retention rates, reduced stress therefore fewer days lost to absence and higher levels of productivity.
For flexible working to be successful it requires a high level of trust and confidence between employee and employer but is a great selling point for any role where the business can allow this. According to research results around two thirds of employees consider flexible working to be the most important benefit offered by employers. Law firms are increasingly advertising agile working, clients want to get the best service from their lawyer and law firms recognise the value of having a satisfied workforce and in turn a happy client!
As a legal recruiter at BCL Legal I would not be able to do my job without the benefit of flexible working, allowing me to juggle family life with a rewarding career. It was certainly a selling point for me and I understand how important it is for lawyers to feel like they can still achieve the benefit of flexible working when considering a job move.
I have a number of opportunities with law firms across Yorkshire offering good work/life balance through flexible working. For a confidential discussion please contact BCL Legal.