Joanna Marklove
Joanna Marklove
Associate Director: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

The reality of flexible working for both lawyer and employer

A common question recruiters are asked is: “does the firm [where attending interview] have an agile working policy?”

The past five years have seen an increase in demand for flexible working and the option is now a prerequisite for many candidate lawyers. Because of this, firms are having to ditch any archaic attitudes and full-time-only offerings. In turn, this opens the door to different types of candidates and accommodates those who need additional support.

For men and women with childcare responsibilities, working from home is often a necessity rather than a preferred choice and flexible working arrangements help with childcare costs and commuting issues.

Firms unwilling, miss out

I speak to a lot of excellent lawyers who can’t change roles because firms aren’t able to accommodate slightly amended hours. Operative word being slight: more often than not, the hours are so similar to someone working standard hours. This is a real shame. Firms are missing out on acquiring top talent who possess outstanding billing records.

Acquire and retain

If a firm offers its staff flexible working options, or at least has a proactive flexible working policy, undoubtedly, this has an overwhelmingly positive effect on recruitment and retention. Click here to read a recent IRS survey.

Universal outlook

However, flexible working goes beyond staff acquirement and retention. Not only is it a great benefit to individual staff, it’s a massive positive for a firm as a whole.

I work one day a week from home, and from personal experience, I find this day the most productive. I get through a higher volume of work because I’m not distracted. I also manage slightly longer hours due to the reduced travel time.

As a recruiter, it’s music to my ears when a firm offers days from home or considers someone on a four day week as it opens up a pool of great candidates.

Flexible working substantially benefits both parties so if you’re not quite there yet (as a firm), it’s well and truly worth putting thought to, and any subsequent investment.

 

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