Let me preface this by saying I’ve been known as many names (typically rightly so), however a ‘dangerous businesswoman’? by no means. In truth I lead the fastest growing law firm in BC. Consider me, I might by no means make a enterprise resolution in haste or do one thing to place my enterprise in danger. So to start, please give me the advantage of the doubt.

After I was in my second 12 months of practising as a lawyer, I obtained a 30 web page skilled report from my migraine specialist who really useful I ought to work solely 4 days every week. That’s as a result of I had a number of bodily and psychological diseases because of being overworked and harassed. I went to my employer and requested them permission to permit me to work 4 days every week. They did, but it surely got here with a 20% lower to my pay.

By then I had by no means missed a billing goal and was the very best billing and amassing affiliate on the agency. I didn’t need to work 4 days every week however discovered that I merely had no selection as my physique and mind have been screaming at me to decelerate in any other case I might have increased costs to pay.

These 3 months of working 4 days every week have been one of the best months of my work life. I felt like I used to be in charge of my life, I used to be happier, extra productive and extra targeted. I nonetheless met and exceeded my full time billable goal and I did it with ease.

Quick ahead to eight years later, I personal my very own agency and now have a 1.5 12 months outdated daughter. I work 4 days every week to have a while along with her. A pair weeks in the past whereas having a glass of wine and cooking meals, the thought crossed my thoughts: why not all of us?

leena-yousefi-ylaw-4-day-work-week

 

I researched the subject obsessively and spent my evenings planning find out how to implement 4 work days every week with out hurting our high quality of service to our purchasers, our worker’s pay, and naturally our profitability.

Let’s look first at why I believe 4 day work weeks for legislation corporations is a superb concept:

At first, I seen our staff feeling exhausted each Friday after working so laborious all week. I needed them to be ok with coming to work and expertise what I really feel once I work 4 days every week. It was nothing however the concept of creating them happier, exhibiting my appreciation for his or her laborious work, and letting them be human and have a tendency to their private lives.

However let’s face it: as enterprise house owners we take into consideration the underside line. We need to maximize our earnings and scale back threat. So I perceive why some could be hesitant to even implement the 4 day every week concept. However after a lot thought, I noticed 4 days every week work may very well show to be the identical or extra worthwhile. Right here is why:

Revenue Loss or is it?

Primarily based on my calculations and if I assumed that legal professionals would invoice proportionate to the hours they’ll work in a 4 day week, I estimate that at worst we’d lose 10% of our web earnings (I’ll clarify this quantity within the subsequent weblog). That is one thing that’s simply measurable if you have a look at the variety of hours versus billable time misplaced.

What will not be clearly measurable are the long run good points you’ll have by implementing this coverage. That is exactly the place most considering of implementing this mannequin would cease and never entertain the concept. They’d see a right away lack of revenue however could be unable to measure the long run good points that may be set off in opposition to it that simply. However let’s see if we are able to measure the long run good points a bit extra exactly:

Loyalty

Shedding legal professionals and employees has been the most important cash waster for me. Changing legal professionals or employees who depart for different jobs can take months. And through these months I’ll face lack of income within the tens if not a whole lot of 1000’s of {dollars}. After which need to cope with quite a few consumer complaints about how we have to do work without spending a dime or comp them for the lawyer leaving. I can measure the loss by taking a look at our earnings throughout these months. Most legislation corporations don’t instantly change departing staff or legal professionals. Throughout the time of alternative, a lot time and money is wasted away at discovering a brand new one who might or might not be the precise match.

Now think about should you supply your staff 4 day work weeks, most would by no means need to lose that job and go work someplace 5 days every week. Loyalty to the enterprise in itself will scale back waste, most likely greater than the ten% of earnings I may probably lose. 

Quicker Enlargement

If I provided a 4 day every week work atmosphere at my agency versus different corporations who don’t, which agency do you suppose a superb, proficient lawyer or employees would select? My possibilities of increasing and including extra legal professionals and staff would imply extra earnings. My price of enlargement could be  probably, exponentially greater than the subsequent agency.

Most legal professionals and assistants are at phases of their lives the place they’ve completed education and need to have youngsters and households. Permitting them to be human, spend time with household and now have a profession is efficacious and irreplaceable. This needs to be the main focus of any enterprise proprietor if we need to have a wholesome, reciprocating work atmosphere.

The very best choices are those who make emotional and logical sense. Should you would not have each, chances are you’ll fail.

Income Probably Received’t Do Down

Income will possible keep the identical or enhance: most of our legal professionals are on a charge cut up pay, so that they eat what they kill. Given my very own expertise in assembly and exceeding my full time billing goal working 4 days every week, I’ve little doubt our legal professionals will proceed to fulfill their full time billable targets. This time although, there isn’t a strain to. In the event that they exceed or meet their full time goal, that may assist them with their confidence, added revenue, and so on, but it surely doesn’t strain them to carry out and overwork themselves. This can be a system of reward versus punishment in case they don’t meet a full time goal. And my pals, consider me love and appreciation will convey much more productiveness and profitability than limitations, self-discipline and strain do.

The selection to work 4 days every week would give my staff autonomy, selection, freedom to do as they see match. It will imply higher psychological well being and bodily well being for all concerned; higher work and life satisfaction.

Elevated effectivity 

Analysis has proven that most individuals are productive and really work 2-3 hours out of their 8 hours work days. If we scale back the working days however add effectivity to the times we’re working, we are able to obtain the identical leads to much less time.  Legal professionals will simply be extra productive, environment friendly and targeted as a result of they know the day without work is simply across the nook and the extra they invoice, the extra will earn cash.

Even for legal professionals who will not be doing a charge cut up, billing extra means increased pays, extra bonuses and extra appreciation.

Workers will even be extra environment friendly in getting extra duties carried out figuring out that they’ll have a day without work. Win win thus far.

What’s 4 Day a Week Analysis Saying?

Irrespective of the place you look, 4 work day every week analysis is simply concluding shiny outcomes:

  •  Microsoft MSFT, -0.02%  examined a four-day work week in August — and, the company said, productiveness jumped 40%.
  •  Perpetual Guardian, carried out a trial research of a 4 day work week. Not solely did staff keep the identical productiveness degree, however additionally they confirmed enhancements in job satisfaction, teamwork, work/life stability and firm loyalty. Staff additionally skilled much less stress with a lower of 45% to 38%.
  • From 2015 to 2017, Sweden carried out a trial research right into a shorter work week. Nurses at a care residence labored solely 6 hours for 5 days every week. Outcomes have been largely optimistic with nurses logging much less sick hours, reporting higher well being and psychological wellbeing and higher engagement as they organized 85% extra actions for sufferers of their care.

On a sunny Friday, I gathered all of our employees and legal professionals and introduced the information. I keep in mind they applauded not less than 3 occasions, most individuals have been in shock. Some thrilled and a few anxious. All of us as a workforce advised and mentioned insurance policies to make this work.

Some legal professionals, similar to junior legal professionals who’re single weren’t the most important fan as a result of that is their time to make their profession and show themselves. That’s nice, the secret is giving them a option to work 4 days every week, however not forcing them to take action. 

I’ll focus on the insurance policies we carried out, that are extraordinarily necessary to our possibilities of success within the subsequent weblog.

Written by Leena Yousefi, founding father of YLaw – February 10, 2021. 

 

 

 

 

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