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A Generational Shift in the Workplace – Work life Balance vs Client Demand

by Heat Recruitment

Man in suit stressed by work

In the current working climate, law firms are seeing a gradual shift, being forced to become more and more flexible with working arrangements compared to the outdated “never see daylight” culture.

With the old traditional culture, a work life balance is unachievable and has a certain “less competitive/cut-throat/professional” stigma attached for the daring Lawyer who would voice for a work-life balance.

Generally speaking, the younger generation has different values and in turn, values their time more than money and this is creating a shift in the attitudes of when, and indeed where they should work.

The focus on flexible working hours, a work life/family life balance is becoming more and more important with the Millennials lawyers/millennial generations.

On the flip, the clients of law firms are becoming more and more demanding with the legal service they are paying for; with budgets and speed of service being squeezed, clients want value and efficiency.

This presents a major challenge in finding a balance between the millennial lawyers wanting a work life balance and demand of clients. Law firms will have to incorporate a working environment where legal careers are flexible whilst finding solutions to clients’ needs.

Lawyers/Solicitors are moving from big firms into smaller practices where there is a family friendly approach, and this is undoubtedly working in the favour of the smaller firms.

If the large firms want to hold on to their talented millennial lawyers, they must foster and adopt a different attitude. They must adapt their ways of thinking about the billable hours model and make sure there is a balance for their workforce. Attitudes are changing, and so must the law firms.

In turn, will we see a further shift from the billable hours/target driven environment and move towards project based work? Will the trend of remote working carry on rising?

By Patrick McMahon