X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Jessica Mazzeo of Griesing Law. Jessica Mazzeo of Griesing Law.

Back in November 2017, I wrote the article, “Why Law Firms Should Already Be Embracing the Mobile Workforce.” That piece mainly focused on firms having work-from-home policies for attorneys and only slightly touched on similar policies for staff. Six months later, it doesn’t seem like much has changed. Generally, law firms are still slower and less amenable to allowing nonexempt support staff, such as paralegals and secretaries, to work from home. While the most common reason is that managing attorneys are not open to this flexibility for staff, others argue that even if there was no resistance from top management, compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act for a nonexempt worker appears unrealistic. However, I strongly disagree. It is 2018—not 1978 or even 2008—and employers who are failing (and yes, it’s a failure, not an opposition) to meet employee demands and allow for some type of work from home policy are going to be in for a rude awakening. Maybe not tomorrow, or in five years, but with an estimated 10,000 baby boomers retiring each day, and for which the majority will be fully retired by 2029, the time to act is now as all employees are demanding change.

Proceeding as we have done for decades is not only a failure to launch but a potential crash course in your firm’s future demise. Employees of all ages—and yes, all ages as millennials are not the only generation that seeks work-life balance—need to be able to better manage both their personal and professional lives. Lisa Sterritt, a legal management professional in the Seattle area with over 30 years of experience, agrees that firms are long overdue for a shift: “It’s time for a new perspective. I have worked both in-house and at law firms, and I have always advocated for anyone to work from home as needed, or on a set schedule, to accommodate challenges such as long commutes, elderly parents, newborns or illness. While it can create some compliance challenges in terms of tracking for hours worked or FMLA leave, great employees are worth that effort. The argument that only attorneys should have job flexibility is tired and reeks of privilege. If you can’t trust your people, nonexempt or not, to record their time accurately, why are they there at all?”

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

The Competitive Landscape is Changing

Where are competitors expanding? What practices are growing or shrinking, and where? Get the latest reports on lateral moves, liftouts, promotions, and more by accessing ALM's Legal Compass. Don't have a subscription? Click to get a free trial.

Get More Information
 

GlobeSt. Women of Influence Awards 2021Event

GlobeSt. Women of Influence Conference celebrates the women who drive the commercial real estate industry forward.

Get More Information
 

GlobeSt. Women of Influence 2021Event

GlobeSt. Women of Influence Conference celebrates the women who drive the commercial real estate industry forward.

Get More Information
 

BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2021Event

The premier educational and networking event for employee benefits brokers and agents.

Get More Information
 

General Counsel Summit (GCS) 2021Event

General Counsel Summit is the premier event for in-house counsel, hosting esteemed legal minds from all sectors of the economy.

Get More Information
 

General Counsel Summit (GCS) 2021Event

General Counsel Summit is the premier event for in-house counsel, hosting esteemed legal minds from all sectors of the economy.

Get More Information
 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.