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Almost two-thirds of the UK's lawyers now want to work flexible hours compared with less than a quarter before the Covid pandemic.
Newly published research by Thomson Reuters shows that 63% of lawyers would prefer to work hours of their choosing, while in pre-coronavirus days only 22% indicated a preference for flexibility.
The study also finds that lawyers want to work an average of 2.1 days a week at home whereas before the onset of Covid-19 the corresponding figure was half a day.
[pullquote]Lawyers aren’t shying away from long hours, averaging nearly 10 hours per day, but they want to work when they want to, fitting life into work” – Lucy Leach, Thomson Reuters[/pullquote]
A significant number (15%) now want to move to part-time work, a four percentage point rise on the proportion pre-pandemic. Appetite for part-time work was highest among older lawyers and female lawyers.
The findings indicate that only one in 10 lawyers now want to go back to working regular hours, in the office, five days a week.
Thomson Reuters’ survey drew on data from nearly 2,500 lawyers shows the desire for arrangements such as flexible hours, working from home and part-time work has doubled or even tripled in some regions.
Its authors contend that the results present major challenges for law firms’ plans for return-to-office and how that could impact lawyer satisfaction, retention and recruiting and more.