Flexible working 'allows staff greater freedom'

A flexible working initiative adopted by Scottish law firm Caesar and Howie is helping staff to manage their lifestyles, one senior member has asserted.

Vivienne Malcolm, a training consultant who has worked for the firm for 18 years, has stated that being able to work from home for between 12 and 26 hours per week has allowed her to return to work at a similar level as before she had a young family to care for.

"I would like to see more employers realising that the issue of childcare is a major consideration, both financially and emotionally," she told the Scotsman.

She added that she found working from home to be more productive than in the office, which she put down to the fewer distractions such as phone calls and queries from colleagues.

While acknowledging that it is possible at times to feel "disconnected from the office" and that it is difficult to communicate the fact that she is working to family and friends, Ms Malcolm contended that the positives of home working outweigh any negative impact the practice might have.

Meanwhile, Clickdocs.co.uk highlights the results of a survey conducted by benefits consultancy Portus, which suggests that few UK law firms have implemented a flexible working policy.

While 71 per cent of respondents suggested that such a practice was "important" or "very important", less than ten per cent have implemented a scheme.