March 1, 2021 was the primary day my regulation agency started the 4 day work week mission. In my previous blog, I defined the the explanation why we selected this mission and the quite a few benefits it gives for all concerned.

However earlier than implementing the mission, we needed to assume lengthy and onerous about our insurance policies to verify this works. This took a number of crew and particular person effort and analysis, however the measures and insurance policies grew to become very properly thought out. I want to share them for anybody pondering of doing a 4 day week mission for their very own regulation corporations or different firms.

With out additional ado, right here we go:

First and Foremost, a Short-term 3 Month Pilot Challenge

I’d by no means leap into one thing so drastic and dangerous completely. In spite of everything we’re one of many first regulation corporations for our dimension in Canada to be implementing this so I need this to be a hit. An important factor I made certain was managing expectations of attorneys and workers:

  • There’s a actual probability we might revert to five working days every week after 3 months;
  • We’re taking pictures for taking up 80% of Wednesdays off, not all of them. In different phrases, if we have now to work on Wednesdays as a result of one thing pressing comes up, then so be it.

The bottom line is to have the freedom to take the time off, not that it’s necessary to take action. 

Choosing Which Day of the Week to Take off

This was very tough to determine and we struggled with it. We have been torn between Wednesdays and Fridays:

  • Naturally most individuals want to have Fridays off as a result of it means lengthy weekends each weekend. However the issue I sensed was that an excessive amount of work and unanswered emails would pile as much as the purpose that the workers and attorneys can be too wired come Monday. That might defeat the aim which is permitting workers a time off to unplug and calm down.
  • Wednesdays present a pleasant mid-week break, and other people wouldn’t be as wired as a result of they’d be again to work on Thursdays.

We determined to check out Wednesdays for one month after which possibly strive Fridays the subsequent month to see what works higher.

Essential: we’re holding our telephones and places of work open 5 days every week as defined beneath.

Do We Do Make Up Days if Now we have to Work on a Day Off?

I felt that if somebody has to come back to work on a Wednesday due to an pressing matter, then they shouldn’t be asking for make up time without work. In spite of everything, it is a favour or a privilege, not an obligation. Making up for having to work on a Wednesday would create an excessive amount of chaos and disorganization, and we determined towards it.

What About Pressing Issues on Wednesdays?

We had massive debates on whether or not we should always arrange auto replies telling everybody we aren’t round or not. On the finish I made a decision towards it. As an alternative I requested the assistants to examine the lawyer’s emails at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays for a couple of minutes and convey up any pressing points to the lawyer’s consideration. This manner shoppers wouldn’t freak out pondering we aren’t round in any respect on Wednesdays. Since checking the lawyer’s emails wouldn’t take various minutes, the assistants don’t thoughts doing this.

What are the Work Hours for a 4 Day Work Week?

I requested our workers so as to add 1 hour to their shifts – so from 8 a.m. to five p.m., 8:30 a.m. to five:30 p.m. or 9 to six p.m. Because of this they’d add 4 hours every week to their 4 days and the agency would soak up the remaining 4 hours. This manner, our backside line wouldn’t be hit as onerous and customarily all workers have been extraordinarily receptive and happy with this association.

Having stated the above, I listened to a Podcast by Quinn Ross from the Ross Firm, an Ontario agency near our dimension which has carried out the 4 day week work. He acknowledged that they began with 10 hours, 4 days and that didn’t work. They’re now doing the traditional 8 hours a day, 4 days every week. He stories that profitability and progress haven’t been negatively impacted in any respect – in reality, they’re on an upward swing.

So I’ll see how issues go for our agency.

The Cool Factor About Our New Workplace Hours

Given that everybody might be working 9 hours, 4 days every week, we have now truly been in a position to develop our workplace hours from 8 a.m. to six p.m. as a substitute of the traditional 9 to five. It’s because some workers will work from 8 to five and a few from 10 to six, so we are able to truly develop our service hours as a substitute of lowering them. As defined beneath, on the date our receptionist is off, one other workers members works and as a substitute takes a distinct time off.

This implies all of us apart from one individual take Wednesdays off.

What About Serving Our Purchasers on the Day Off?

It is vitally vital to level out one thing crucial right here: we aren’t closing down our agency on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, our receptionist works and solutions the telephones (and as a substitute takes one other time off). Pressing issues might be dropped at the eye of the lawyer and assistant, and enterprise so far as shoppers go will run as standard. All we’re doing is placing in our retainer agreements that we are going to reply to pressing issues solely on Wednesdays, not that we’re closed on Wednesdays.

Is Everybody at YLaw Pleased A couple of 4 Day Work Week?

Surprisingly, though most of us are thrilled, some aren’t. A few of our attorneys don’t know how one can implement this given the character of household regulation through which our calendars should not all the time below our management. We might must take care of pressing issues, a number of issues or work 7 days every week to meet up with trial preparation. So understandably a few of the attorneys are anxious about truly with the ability to take Wednesdays off.

My advise has been: you’ve the choice of taking of a day in week, you do not need to. This I discover relieves the stress of getting to vary life round to implement 4 work days every week. This solely says we’re versatile must you resolve to take action.

As for employees, they’re all thrilled. Legal professionals can have versatile schedules and take time without work. Employees must be at work on inflexible shifts. Having the ability to attend their appointments, be with their household and unplug permits them freedom and autonomy and in some ways helps them with psychological and bodily wellness.

I’ll you should definitely report again after one month to see the place we’re, and whether or not we have to change something. 

Till then my pals, keep bodily and mentally properly.

Written by Leena Yousefi

To learn concerning the motive why we carried out our 4 day weeks, click here.