Let me preface this by saying (at the price of sounding cocky) 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. Imagine me, I might by no means make a enterprise choice 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 practising as a lawyer, I obtained a 30 web page skilled report from my physician who beneficial I ought to work solely 4 days every week. That’s as a result of I had a number of bodily and psychological diseases resulting from being overworked and burdened. I went to my employer and requested them permission to permit me to work 4 days every week. They did, nevertheless it 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 gathering 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 had been screaming at me to decelerate in any other case I might have greater costs to pay.

These 3 months of working 4 days every week had been the very best months of my work life. 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 every 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 easy methods 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 feel 4 day work weeks for legislation companies is a superb concept:

Let’s face it: as enterprise house owners we take into consideration the underside line. We need to maximize our income 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 spotted 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?

Based mostly on my calculations and if I assumed that legal professionals would invoice proportionate to the hours they are going to work in a 4 day week, I estimate that at worst we might lose 10% of our web income. That is one thing that’s simply measurable once you take 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 considering 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 are able to measure the long run features a bit extra exactly:

Loyalty

Dropping 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 could face lack of income within the tens if not a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars}. After which must cope with quite a few consumer complaints about how we have to do work without cost 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 change departing staff or legal professionals. In the course of the time of substitute, a lot time and money is wasted away at discovering a brand new one that might or will not be the best match.

Now think about when you provide your staff 4 day work weeks, who would need to lose that job and go work someplace 5 days every week? Loyalty to the job in itself will scale back waste, most likely greater than the ten% of income I might doubtlessly lose. 

Quicker Growth

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

Most legal professionals and assistants are at levels of their lives the place they’ve completed education and need to have kids 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 need to have a wholesome, reciprocating work atmosphere.

Earnings Probably Gained’t Do Down

Earnings will doubtless keep the identical or enhance: most of our legal professionals are on a charge cut 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 every week, I’ve little doubt our legal professionals will proceed to fulfill their full time billable targets. This time although, there isn’t any stress to. In the event that they exceed or meet their full time goal, that can assist them with their confidence, added earnings, and so forth, nevertheless it doesn’t stress 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 pals, consider me love and appreciation will deliver much more profitability than limitations, self-discipline and stress.

It offers them 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 truly 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 outcomes with extra management and satisfaction.  Legal professionals 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 legal professionals who will not be doing a charge cut up, billing extra means greater pays, extra bonuses and extra appreciation.

Employees can even be extra environment friendly in getting extra duties performed figuring out that they are going to have a day without work. Win win to date.

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

Some legal professionals, resembling 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’s 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 applied, that are extraordinarily necessary to our possibilities of success within the subsequent weblog.

Written by Leena Yousefi – February 10, 2021.