The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the ways in which we work. Court hearings, trials, and client meetings occurred via platforms like Zoom as many people were forced to work from home due to a combination of government restrictions, work policies, child care issues, and/or personal preferences. As a result, many organizations had to implement different types of flexible work arrangements (FWA). Many firms have already transitioned to working remotely some or all of the time, and the pandemic has shown that FWA is possible. Many top firms made record profits last year, which resulted in hefty raises to associates, which supports the argument that lawyers can work productively at home.
Though most states and employers have lifted COVID-related restrictions, legal employers should still consider keeping FWA. One reason is that FWA addresses a top concern of many attorneys: work-life balance. Work-life balance is frequently cited as a top concern of lawyers when discussing work satisfaction. Chambers Associate surveyed 2,000 junior associates in January 2020 and the respondents ranked “work-life balance” as their second choice out of 10 as a factor that would impact their next career move. “Why Lawyers Leave Their Firms“ (January 2020). Many lawyers have also raised the issue of not having enough time to spend with family as a reason for leaving the profession or switching jobs. Additionally, the lack of flexibility / work-life balance has often been cited as a reason why workers switched jobs during the Great Resignation.