The Hybrid Work Model: The Secret to Attracting Top Talent


By Taylor Burton Published on February 28, 2024

Estimated reading time: 5 Minutes

These past four years have been a rollercoaster of shifting workplace practices. Many faced the jarring experience of going remote and then being thrust back into the office full-time. Others have found themselves experimenting with a hybrid work model--something that has now become a priority for job seekers everywhere.

If you lead a law firm and you're keen on attracting an exemplary pool of lawyers, the hybrid work model just might be your secret weapon. Let's explore the advantages of this workstyle as well as the tireless research that has been poured into the question: Does a hybrid model work?

 

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Last year, as the threat of Covid-19 faded, CEOs began to push towards the "old normal" and bring people back to the office full-time as if it had never happened. However, employees pushed back. After having a taste of the flexibility that remote work gave them, they were not so willing to let go, leading to a power struggle between the two groups. Workers have made it known just how much they don't want to return to 5 days a week in the office, 26% citing they would rather have a root canal.

Your view of remote work might alter depending on your job title. Many managers look unfavorably upon it because they fear it could lead to a lack of productivity. However, research has shown that remote work leads to increased productivity. Workers are happier when given the autonomy to personalize their own schedule. This could mean adjusting the time they clock in, so they are able to pick their children up from school, or being granted the choice to select which work environment they perform best in. Some might get their best work done in the office while others might find it too distracting.

If you're the person in charge, offering a bit of wiggle room can be a major morale booster. By listening to your employees' opinions, it shows that you care, and in return many will be inspired to work hard. Happier employees also means less turnover.

 

Businessman at home looking away through window

 

The hybrid work model strikes a balance, offering the best of both worlds. The ability to work from home helps attract and retain staff. Meanwhile, at work, you can get that valuable face-to-face time. It goes a long way in streamlining communication and forging connections to your coworkers. It improves collaboration and camaraderie in a way that Zoom meetings can't.

Gallup conducted an extensive survey to find that the majority of workers prefer a hybrid work model. 3 in 10 hybrid workers claim they would be extremely likely to leave their organization if they lost this perk. The survey also found that most employees prefer to be in the office an average of 2-3 days per week to focus on team tasks, while spending their remote time on independent work.

Of course, this work model is going to look different depending on your job. It would also be best to bring workers in on the same day so that everyone can collaborate more effectively. If you're not sure which days to come into the office, run a poll to see what the company's overall preference is.

The hybrid work model is certainly a balancing act--but once you strike that balance, it can be incredibly rewarding.

 

Balancing beach pebbles or stones with the sea in the background 

 

Believe it or not, a number of law firms have embraced hybrid work. The American Bar Association found that only 30% of lawyers work in the office full-time. Almost half of the young lawyers surveyed said they would gladly leave their jobs to find greater flexibility. These numbers drive home just how coveted a hybrid schedule is.

Another benefit this work model brings to the legal world is improved work-life balance. Lawyers are often victims of burnout. Remote work can ease commute and workplace stressors, saving you money on gas and office supplies, while granting more time spent with family. 

If all of this sounds mightily appealing and you're ready to reap the rewards of a hybrid workplace, the first step is to consult with your team and establish a schedule that best works for everyone. If you're bringing people back to the office, move slowly and carefully. If you're going to start offering remote work, ensure that you have the technology to do so, and that all client information is secure.

If your firm finds that the hybrid model isn't working for them, nothing says you have to stick with it. Just make sure to keep an open mind as you experiment with different tactics because the numbers don't lie; a hybrid work model is what the people want.

 

Stylish brunette working from home in her home office

 

Does your law firm work within a hybrid model? Leave a comment and let us know!

Newsflash: You can't just work remotely--you can score your credits remotely, too! With plenty of live and on-demand options, PBI is CLE built to fit your busy schedule. Check out our upcoming live courses here to start making your compliance stress-free!