A great deal of lip service has been paid to agile working for law firms but has any of it really been turned into action?
Many other industries have bought-in to the mantra. It allows businesses to empower employees and give them flexibility. However, the UK legal profession still lags behind.
So, let’s take a look at some of the practical benefits of the idea.
These are obvious. Agile or flexible working arrangements provide the following advantages:
With flexible /agile work schedules, employers experience these benefits:
There are also key organisational challenges you need to address to make flexible work schedules support your business. In and of themselves, as a positive benefit for employees, flexible work schedules support employee engagement, positive morale, and retention. But, flexible work schedules must operate to meet the needs of the business, too.
George Bisnought of successful virtual firm, Excello Law describes the move to agile working in stark terms. He describes the mindset change as: “allowing lawyers complete freedom and choice to work when, where and how they wish.’
George goes on to suggest that the focus of the firm changes to: ‘delivery of high levels of customer service, ensuring direct access to senior lawyers and providing better value for money and outcomes.’ That’s a sea change from the 9 to 5 and time sheets approach.
The technology to make agile working a success has been with us for some time now. It’s simply a question of how you go about it.
There are many in the profession who believe adoption of a more agile philosophy may be a great challenge and take time to prove its worth. The real challenge is based upon two very simple factors. Firstly, understanding the benefits for employees and the business. Secondly, and most importantly, embracing the idea whole-heartedly. Half-way house, piecemeal approaches are unlikely to succeed.
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