Alternative work arrangements are gaining momentum in the legal field, new research confirms. (Note: while the following advice is aimed at law firms, the advice given is pretty universal).
In a recent survey by Robert Half Legal, nearly 6 in 10 lawyers (58%) cited flexible scheduling as the top policy to help strengthen work-life balance. Remote work arrangements ranked second, with 57% of the survey response.
Nearly 7 in 10 respondents (68%) reported that the number of lawyers at their law firms/companies who work remotely has significantly or somewhat increased in the last 12 months.
Lawyers were asked, "Which of the following policies, if any, does your law firm or company have in place to help improve lawyers' work-life balance?" Their responses:
"In today's competitive hiring environment, recruiting highly skilled legal professionals remains a priority," said Jamy Sullivan, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "To attract the industry's best talent, companies are emphasizing programs that help employees better manage work priorities and personal commitments."
Work-life balance perks also are playing a more significant role in employee retention, Sullivan added. "Employees consistently cite flexible scheduling, telecommuting and time-off policies as the top reasons to remain with an employer."
Robert Half Legal offers seven tips to promote work-life balance and help enhance job satisfaction:
Seek employee input. Ask your team what they consider most important for managing professional and personal priorities. Survey them on what benefits are most appealing and regularly include these topics in meetings so you can adjust policies as needed.
Recognize one size does not fit all. While many workers value flexible hours, others may consider telecommuting their highest priority. Discuss what you can do to address individual needs.
Embrace flexibility. Offer a range of perks, such as a compressed schedule, remote work, reduced hours or job sharing, and flexible time-off policies.
Encourage efficiency. Provide tech tools that help with routine tasks, enable better collaboration and make it easier to work remotely.
Put a premium on health. Provide wellness resources to employees, such as access to fitness facilities, discounted gym memberships or stress management programs.
Address burnout promptly. Encourage employees to take time off to refresh. Consider hiring legal professionals on a contract or temporary basis to reduce workload pressures on existing staff.
Walk the talk. Encourage employees to disconnect from the office while on vacation — and ensure that supervisors set a good example by doing the same.