Let me preface this by saying (at the price of sounding cocky) I’ve been referred to as many names (generally rightly so), however a ‘unhealthy businesswoman’? by no means. Actually I lead the fastest growing law firm in BC. Consider me, I’d by no means make a enterprise resolution in haste or do one thing to place our success as a enterprise in danger. So to start, please give me the good thing about the doubt.

Once I was in my second yr of training 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 per week. That’s as a result of I had a number of bodily and psychological sicknesses on account of being overworked and careworn. I went to my employer and requested them permission to permit me to work 4 days per week. They did, but it surely got here with a 20% reduce to my pay.

By then I had by no means missed a billing goal and was the best billing and accumulating affiliate on the agency. I didn’t wish to work 4 days per week however discovered that I merely had no alternative as my physique and mind have been screaming at me to decelerate in any other case I’d have larger costs to pay.

These 3 months of working 4 days per week have been the most effective months of my work life. I felt like I used to be answerable for my life, I used to be happier, extra productive and extra centered. 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 yr previous daughter. I work 4 days per week to have a while together 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 the best way to implement 4 work days per week with out hurting our high quality of service to our shoppers, our worker’s pay, and naturally our profitability.

Let’s look first at why I believe 4 day work weeks for legislation companies is a good thought:

Before everything, I seen our staff feeling exhausted each Friday after working so onerous all week. I needed them to be ok with coming to work and expertise what I felt once I labored 4 days per week. It was nothing however the thought of creating them happier with what they have been doing and taking away the psychological and bodily toll a 5 day work week was taking up them.

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

Revenue Loss or is it?

Based mostly on my calculations and if I assumed that attorneys would invoice proportionate to the hours they may work in a 4 day week, I estimate that at worst we might lose 10% of our internet income (i’ll clarify this quantity within the subsequent weblog). That is one thing that’s simply measurable while you have a look at the variety of hours versus billable time misplaced.

What just isn’t clearly measurable are the long run features you’d have by implementing this coverage. That is exactly the place anybody pondering of implementing this mannequin would cease and never entertain the thought. She or he would see a direct lack of revenue however couldn’t measure the long run features that will set off towards it that simply. However let’s see if we will measure the long run features a bit extra exactly:

Loyalty

Dropping attorneys and employees has been the most important cash waster for me. Changing attorneys 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 bunch of 1000’s of {dollars}. After which should take care of quite a few shopper complaints about how we have to do work totally free or comp them for the lawyer leaving. I can measure the loss by taking a look at our earnings throughout these months. Most legislation companies don’t instantly exchange departing staff or attorneys. Throughout the time of alternative, a lot time and money is wasted away at discovering a brand new one that could or might not be the fitting match.

Now think about for those who supply your staff 4 day work weeks, who would wish to lose that job and go work someplace 5 days per week? Loyalty to the job in itself will cut back waste, most likely greater than the ten% of income I may probably lose. 

Quicker Enlargement

If I supplied a 4 day per week work atmosphere at my agency versus different companies who don’t, which agency do you suppose an excellent, gifted lawyer or employees would select? My probabilities of increasing and including extra attorneys and staff would imply extra income. My charge of growth can be  probably, exponentially greater than the subsequent agency.

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

Earnings Probably Received’t Do Down

Earnings will probably keep the identical or enhance: most of our attorneys are on a payment break up pay, in order that they eat what they kill. Given my very own expertise in assembly and exceeding my full time billing goal working 4 days per week, I’ve little doubt our attorneys 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 can assist them with their confidence, added earnings, and many others, but it surely doesn’t strain them to carry out and overwork themselves. It is a system of reward versus punishment in case they don’t meet a full time goal. And my mates, imagine me love and appreciation will deliver much more profitability than limitations, self-discipline and strain.

It offers them autonomy, alternative, 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 cut back the working days however add effectivity to the times we’re working, we will obtain the identical outcomes with extra management and satisfaction.  Attorneys will simply be extra productive, environment friendly and centered 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 attorneys who aren’t doing a payment break up, billing extra means larger pays, extra bonuses and extra appreciation.

Employees can even be extra environment friendly in getting extra duties performed realizing that they may have a day without work. Win win to date.

On a sunny Friday, I gathered all of our employees and attorneys and introduced the information. I keep in mind they applauded a minimum of 3 instances, most individuals have been in shock. Some thrilled and a few anxious. All of us as a group steered and mentioned insurance policies to make this work.

Some attorneys, resembling junior attorneys 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 per week, however not forcing them to take action. 

I’ll talk about the insurance policies we carried out, that are extraordinarily vital to our probabilities of success within the subsequent weblog.

Written by Leena Yousefi – February 10, 2021. 

 

 

 

 

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