Flexible Scheduling, Telecommuting Best Perks To Help Canadian Lawyers Improve Work-Life Balance, Survey Reveals

Toronto, ON — Alternative work arrangements are gaining momentum in the legal field, new research confirms. In a recent survey by Robert Half Legal, more than six in 10 lawyers in Canada (63 per cent) cited flexible scheduling as the top policy to help strengthen work-life balance. Remote work arrangements ranked second, with 48 per cent of the survey response.

 

Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74 per cent) reported that the number of lawyers at their law firms/companies who work remotely has significantly or somewhat increased in the last 12 months.  

 

Lawyers were asked, “Which of the following policies, if any, does your law firm or company have in place to help improve lawyers’ work-life balance? Their responses:*

 

Flexible scheduling

63%

Remote work/telecommuting

48%

Reduced hours

34%

Non-partnership-track positions

24%

Job sharing

19%

*Multiple responses were permitted.

 

Lawyers were also asked, “Has the number of lawyers who work remotely or telecommute at your law firm or company increased or decreased in the last 12 months?” Their responses:**

 

Increased significantly

31%

Increased somewhat

43%

Neither increased nor decreased

23%

Decreased somewhat

1%

Decreased significantly

0%

Don’t know

1%

 

99%

            **Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

 

“In today’s competitive hiring environment, recruiting highly skilled legal professionals remains a priority,” said Jamy Sullivan, executive director of Robert Half Legal. “To attract the industry’s best talent, companies are emphasizing programs that help employees better manage work priorities and personal commitments.”

 

Work-life balance perks also are playing a more significant role in employee retention, Sullivan added. “Employees consistently cite flexible scheduling, telecommuting and time-off policies as the top reasons to remain with an employer.”

 

Robert Half Legal offers seven tips to promote work-life balance and help enhance job satisfaction:

  1. Seek employee input. Ask your team what they consider most important for managing professional and personal priorities. Survey them on what benefits are most appealing and regularly include these topics in meetings so you can adjust policies as needed.
  2. Recognize one size does not fit all. While many workers value flexible hours, others may consider telecommuting their highest priority. Discuss what you can do to address individual needs.
  3. Embrace flexibility. Offer a range of perks, such as a compressed schedule, remote work, reduced hours or job sharing, and flexible time-off policies.  
  4. Encourage efficiency. Provide tech tools that help with routine tasks, enable better collaboration and make it easier to work remotely.
  5. Put a premium on health. Provide wellness resources to employees, such as access to fitness facilities, discounted gym memberships or stress management programs.
  6. Address burnout promptly. Encourage employees to take time off to refresh. Consider hiring legal professionals on a contract or temporary basis to reduce workload pressures on existing staff.
  7. Walk the talk. Encourage employees to disconnect from the office while on vacation and ensure that supervisors set a good example by doing the same.   

 

Survey Methodology  

The online survey was developed by Robert Half Legal and conducted by a leading independent research firm. It is based on responses from more than 150 lawyers in Canada who work full time at law firms with 20 or more employees or in corporate legal departments at companies with 1,000 or more employees.

 

About Robert Half Legal

Robert Half Legal is the premier provider of legal staffing and consulting solutions for law firms and corporate legal departments. With North American and global locations, Robert Half Legal provides a customized approach, including managed review, legal project management and eDiscovery services, to help organizations handle constantly changing workloads. The company offers in-demand expertise across practice areas, as well as highly skilled legal professionals on a temporary, project and full-time basis. More information about our full suite of legal staffing and consulting solutions can be found at roberthalf.ca/legal.

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