It seems that flexible work is becoming an increasingly attractive option for workers, with many reporting in a survey that they prefer it over traditional 9-5 jobs, including for lawyers.
The top factors that workers consider when choosing a shift include hourly wage rate, distance, schedule flexibility, and type of work.
Women with children, in particular, place a higher value on schedule flexibility, as it allows them to spend more time with their families.
Despite its reputation, flexible work is not a side hustle, with many workers reporting that they have had more than 1 year of experience in flexible work.
In fact, experienced flexible workers tend to feel more stable and confident in their financial lives.
Overall, it seems that flexible work is already here for law firms as well as just about any other business, and it is becoming an increasingly reliable source of income for all workers.
Flexible Work for Lawyers
Although the survey did not specifically cover the law profession, flexible work arrangements have become increasingly popular in the legal industry in recent years.
Many lawyers continue to seek more flexibility in their work schedules to better balance their personal and professional lives. These arrangements can include working from home, part-time work, job sharing, and other alternative work arrangements.
As law job site FlexJobs noted in a recent report on law firm practices they are: Notorious for long hours, formal dress codes, hard-driving work ethics, and competitiveness, the legal profession has never enjoyed a warm and fuzzy image. However, slowly but steadily, major law firms embracing flexible work are helping transform the landscape.
According to a survey conducted by the American Bar Association in 2019, 68 percent of lawyers reported having some type of flexible work arrangement, up from 50 percent in 2016. This trend has continued in 2023 as more law firms and legal organizations recognize the benefits of offering flexible work arrangements, such as increased productivity, employee satisfaction, and retention.
According to the survey conducted by WorkWhile earlier this month, they received responses from over 1300 workers, in both English and Spanish, to get to know them on a deeper level regarding their experience with flexible work.
The survey was conducted for the third consecutive year and revealed some surprising trends, which includes issues like preferences for a shorter work week and how that best works.
Interestingly, those in flexible work situations tended to be satisfied with their wages with 73 percent of the respondents in the Workwhile survey saying that they were paid at least as much as those paid in traditional jobs.
The survey complements one recently conducted by major labor law firm Littler, which looked at the challenges ahead faced by employers.
Women with Children
It’s clear from the data that women with children are finding flexible work to be a great option for balancing work and family life.
Flexibility and diversity in the law are major issues for the legal profession which are being addressed by more Biglaw firms, such as the recent news of another major law firm appointing a female Executive Chair.
They report higher satisfaction with flexible work, and those who make more of their income from flexible work are able to spend more time with their families. The ability to choose their own schedule is particularly important.
Additionally, the pay for flexible work is often equal to or better than traditional jobs, with 74 percent of women with children reporting this to be the case. Overall, it seems that flexible work is providing a solution for many working mothers who want to prioritize their families while still earning a living.