“Fifteen percent of companies offer at least some employees four-day work weeks of 32 hours or less, up from 13 percent in 2017.” No two law firms are the same. From internal departments to large multi-partner companies, each organization has its own needs and barriers. But shorter work weeks are quickly becoming an attractive prospect for potential employees, and with a growing number of positive ideas and personal testimonials, one might well do not dismiss the idea out of hand. So far, there have been two occasions when everyone involved in a case could only meet on Mondays, so I had to take a shower and go to the office after the farm. I voluntarily adjusted my schedule. (I should have given myself another half-day off during those weeks to work on my projects, but I didn`t.) Unfortunately, yes. For the most part, my colleagues respect the fact that Mondays are my time to volunteer and work on other projects. However, sometimes he cannot be helped. A personal injury law firm in Orlando, Florida, has set up a four-day work week to give employees an extra day to shop, take care of their personal affairs and spend time with their families. Most lawyers and assistants are at stages of life where they have completed their studies and want to have children and families. Allowing them to be human beings, spend time with their families and have a career is precious and irreplaceable.
This should be the goal of every business owner if we want to have a healthy and mutual work environment. Also, I recently received a call on a Monday afternoon when I sat down to write this column. A colleague needed help making an application that was to be made to the court that day. Instead of writing for you, my afternoon was hijacked and I spent three hours helping him. Thousands of workers across the UK embarked on a four-day week this month as part of a national trial. It is believed to offer significant benefits for well-being, productivity, turnover and the environment, and it is a concept that is gaining ground in other European countries such as Belgium. Experts tell the U.S. attorney that a shortened work week can reduce the stigma associated with taking time off. If everyone has the same reduced schedule, there is no risk of being perceived as less engaged. Still, no one expects the legal industry to adopt four-day work weeks, according to the article. “Law firms are not going to be pioneers,” said Nathan Peart, an advisor at Major, Lindsey & Africa.
After some time to adjust, Portcullis employees are “significantly more rested and motivated,” according to Yasmin Serter of the company`s customer service team. “This means we`re really looking forward to coming to work and meeting the people we want to help, which can only be a good thing for the service we provide.” When I`m on the farm, I`m in the present moment. I turn off the ringer on my phone, and during those few hours, I`m nobody`s lawyer. I can just be a person. There is also a particular type of satisfaction when I work with my hands that I don`t get when I work behind a computer. Ruth Carter| Where to start when your business needs a logo? Check out these general options used by business owners. Portcullis Legals, a Plymouth-based company, may have the answer. They extended office hours until the evening and gave their employees a raise to ensure their salaries were not affected. What is suitable for a financial firm based in New Zealand may not be for what is exclusively a law firm in another country. Or that what works for an office`s general staff may not be suitable for people who work in their in-house legal department. The legal sector is one of the most demanding in the UK and around the world. Lawyers must prepare complex cases, appear in court and maintain availability for their clients.
So how can a four-day week be implemented in a law firm? Harvard Business Review published an article in 2018 in which the author described how he tested the impact of a six-hour workday on employee engagement with his team in Melbourne as a guinea pig: Although the prospect of taking a day off each week petrified me, I committed to volunteering on the farm every Monday morning starting in December. I was afraid that I wouldn`t be able to maintain my practice and income, and that this break would only add to my overwhelming stress. I was also worried about the reaction of customers. That`s pretty much the dilemma when I hear you ask you, “Will I accommodate the same amount of work in less time while being paid 20% less?” Will I be just as busy and stressed? Some lawyers, such as Junior Lawyers Who Are Single have not been the biggest fans because now is the time for them to make their careers and prove themselves. It`s great, the key is to give them the choice to work 4 days a week, but not to force them to do it. Most of our lawyers have a fee split, so they eat what they kill. Given my own experience of meeting and exceeding my full-time billing goal by working 4 days a week, I have no doubt that our lawyers will continue to meet their full-time billable goals. Despite my fears to the contrary, the response has been positive. No one accused me of slackening. When someone mentions the farm, they say it`s a good thing I can work there.
So, apparently, it works. But before you set your Friday morning alert two hours later, remember that a company doesn`t make a representative sample and short-term employee satisfaction is far from the only measure of success. Longer working days are not without problems. Staci Zaretsky is editor-in-chief at Above the Law, where she has worked since 2011. She`d love to hear from you, so feel free to send her any tips, questions, comments, or reviews. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn. The fact is that not all jobs are created equally. One answer to the fact that this practice works is the idea of overlapping shift models to cover the extra day off, but not all companies have the staff to make it work.