Allens is an international law firm, and works with many major Australian companies, not to mention a large number of worldwide organisations. It acts as the official legal representative of News Corporation in Australia and has a long-standing relationship with Westpac, which has been in place for 160 years.
In the pressurised, dynamic environment of a legal practice, flexibility would traditionally be of low importance, and there would be a strong expectation within the role to work long, demanding hours, with little chance to take time off if required for family reasons.
However, Allens has, in recent years, offered impressive flexibility for its employees, especially in comparison to other legal firms.
Flexible Working in a Legal Practice: The Results
According to Michel Rose, Chief Executive Partner within the firm, to achieve a high level of “focus and engagement, you need people who feel they can manage all the competing priorities in their lives. For some people, that requires flexibility”.
It is for this reason that they prioritise flexible working conditions within the organisation. In 2012, 18% of their staff was operating on flexible hours, with between 75% and 85% of all staff taking advantage of flexible working hours on an ad hoc basis.
“Allens reported that 92% of employees were now returning to the company after having children; a dramatic increase from the previous figure of 80%. The firm also focus on providing a number of other flexible working related assistance, including transition packs to help employees manage their career effectively with childcare.”
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