Working flexibly is allowing senior lawyers the opportunity to operate at the highest levels of their profession without the rigidity of a traditional Partnership structure. And they’re finding the benefits hugely appealing. This approach is empowering lawyers to take charge of their lives, by unshackling from the office desk, establishing career autonomy, and achieving a greater quality of work-life balance.
Flexible v Freelance
Working flexibly should not be confused with freelancing. Flexible workers, while professional and self employed, typically partner with a high-integrity brand – such as gunnercooke for senior lawyers – and within this structure they operate independently but have access to superior-quality support including administrative services, office space and technology, as well as benefiting from PI cover and support from Associate-level lawyers. And the ability to mix with like-minded peers provides a ready-made network and client work-share opportunities.
And it is this independence and freedom that is enticing many highly experienced partners to leave their corporate firms to join a firm that offers a more flexible working model. For many professionals, working flexibly represents the opportunity to take complete control of their career – retaining the stimulation of high-calibre work, but aligning assignments much more with their own skill set while dictating the type and amount of work to fit their specific goals.
Working flexibly can involve irregular work patterns, with intense periods of activity often offset by the lulls that allow for more personal, quality of life pursuits. It also encourages professionals to focus on a high standard of task delivery without the interruption of endless meetings, red tape and politically-minded office banter.
On Cloud Nine
Flexible workers who have embraced the huge technological advances that support this more mobile and fluid approach, especially in the cloud and virtual communications, can work remotely from almost anywhere. This in turn allows their productivity to be measured by actual output, as opposed to how many hours they spend at the office. They commute at their leisure, if at all! And the arrival of Software-as-a-Service “Saas” means game-changing “eDiscovery” and other Artificial Intelligence tools are now available to all law firms – not just the largest.
Of course, not everyone is suited to this flexible approach. To ensure success, people need to be self motivated, entrepreneurial and willing to sell their unique benefits in a crowded talent market. They also need to be highly organised and driven enough to ‘put in a shift’ when given the freedom to get on with the job – trust over work output is implicit.
Taking a Leap
For many lawyers and other professionals alike, adopting a flexible working approach can be a career and life-changing event. A fundamental shift from the more robotic, traditional ways of working is however very liberating. It is a leap, but one that can reap huge gains. When backed by a top-quality support operation (such as gunnercooke’s) the leap becomes much more tangible, and for the many who’ve taken it, their future really is now.
To discuss options in flexible working – either as lawyer, or, for EM, in executive search – please contact [email protected]