Articles From the Team
Conveyancing jobs: what flexible working should look like
Flexible working is the term given to any type of working that’s different from the standardised setup. It can involve changes to the hours, times or place of work. All forms aim to offer a way of working that suits the employee’s needs and it’s something we’ve seen a steep increase in over the past few years.
Perhaps this is due to increasing pressures in the workplace and more awareness around the impact of stress – on one’s health and workplace productivity.
Whatever the reason, it’s a hot topic at the moment. All law firms should consider implementing flexible working – if they’re not doing so already!
More specifically, what does it look like?
Flexible working can constitute a variation of adjustments and law firms that implement a flexible working scheme, each has their own approach.
- A flexible start/finish time: employees have the option of starting at any time from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. and finishing after they’ve completed their allotted hours; so anytime between 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. – to be decided on the day by the employee.
- Part-time – working less than five days a week.
- Reduced hours – working less than the standard eight hours a day; a lot of the time we see this with parents who need to drop-off and collect children.
- Homeworking – either working from home on a full-time basis or having the option to work from home for a day or more each week.
- Compressed working hours – normal working hours but over fewer days.
Why allow flexible working? What are the benefits?
- It helps people to feel in control – we all do the odd hour or so outside of working hours: going to the office early, leaving late or logging on at the weekend; flexible working is a way of compensating for this.
- Fact: at firms where flexible working is in place there are fewer sick days.
- Night owl vs morning lark – human beings are diverse and we all perform better at different times in the day. Flexible working plays to your employees’ strengths.
- It boosts employee morale and reduces turnover.
- It reduces stress levels – it allows you to better juggle your home and work life – as well as avoiding the rush hour!
- Some people might take advantage of it.
- Telecommuting might impact on company culture (if a large number of employees are away from the office), as well as strength of communication.
- Costs – working from home investments are required: purchase of laptops, phones, IT and software.
- There’s no clear delineation between home and work – it might harder to switch off when working from home.
Why is it important for firms to accommodate flexible working arrangements?
- It’s good for business – increased productivity, improved morale and reduced attrition levels.
- It helps promote a better work-life balance, which is associated with improved mental health, efficiency and reduced stress levels.
- It enables you to recruit from a larger candidate pool – there’s an increased appetite for flexible working and as such, firms that don’t allow flexible working run the risk of losing good candidates.