Articles From the Team

Legal jobs and the ever-changing world of flexible working

Apparently, come 2050, we’re likely to see most lawyers working away from the office - either working from home or in various other locations. One of the main reasons why is to avoid a daily commute, but for one of the most traditional professions, is this level of modernisation really possible?

Having worked at BCL Legal for nearly four years, and having had a career in law prior to this, I can adamantly say that during this time I’ve seen a real shift in attitude and approach to flexible working. If a law firm doesn’t have a flexible working policy, this is outside of the norm. Practices are adopting flexible working patterns of all shapes and sizes.

I suppose this is down to supply and demand. It’s clear that while I have plenty of legal jobs to find the perfect lawyer for, there aren't enough lawyers. To that end, when candidates decide to take the plunge and start their job search it becomes fairly competitive and firms need to think outside of the box in order to secure talent, or indeed keep talented individuals. After all, a happy workforce makes for a happy company!

Related article: Legal jobs and flexible working

The win-win

Life is becoming less about being chained to a desk for 37.5 hours (and the rest!) a week, and more about enjoying your time in work in conjunction with your time out of work. At BCL we call this the win-win. People like to be valued as adults. If the expectations of what your job role is are clear, then how you go about fulfilling those expectations should be up to you.

I recently spoke to a client I work with regularly who told me that as a large regional practice they adopt over 330 different flexible working patterns/styles based upon the specific needs of the individual.

The most valued benefit

Since it’s inception, flexible working has mainly been adopted by women returning to work after having children, but it’s now taken up by plenty of men as well. Flexible working might help someone continue a hobby outside of work, or allow for school pick-ups and drop-offs.

In a recent survey, over 40 per cent of people said that flexible working was the most valued benefit they could be offered. Being more open about wanting and needing flexible working has given women more support and confidence when wanting to climb the career ladder. More and more senior-level positions are offered on a flexible working basis, which has a positive impact on women who choose to have children. It’s claimed that by 2037 we should see parity with men at senior partnership levels; this is based on some law firms adopting flexible working policies. As and when all firms adopt these policies, parity will eventuate.

Changing mindsets, innovative and forward-thinking, technology and mutual trust between parties within organisations mean that agile and flexible working is more widely accepted as being a working pattern that's as productive as traditional structures - than ever before.

If you’re unhappy with lack of flexibility in your current role or wish to discuss other needs you feel are not being met, please contact BCL Legal or call 0845 241 0933.

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