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Flexibility: Work in progress

Every Issue

Cite as: December 2015 89 (12) LIJ, p.79

Rob Gregory

Partner, Maddocks
What hours do you work and where?

80 per cent of full time load (four days in the office).

Why do you work flexibly?

Principally to spend more time with my sons (aged two and five) while they are young, as well as to provide my partner with the opportunity to better enjoy and advance her career.

How does your organisation accommodate flexibility?

Very well. The partners in my team and group and Maddocks’ CEO and chair (both current and immediate past) have been very supportive of the change in my working hours. The lawyers and support staff in my team are used to me having days out of the office for business travel and leave and we are able with a bit of thought and planning to continue to provide a seamless service to our clients.

What are the challenges of working flexibly?

So far (after only three weeks), the main challenge is not looking at my email on the day out of the office and then dealing with the backlog the next day. I have made a conscious effort not to look at email on my non-working day as I can easily become deeply immersed in it and not be “present” with my sons. That said, all of my key clients and members of my team always know that they can phone with any urgent issue at any time. So far they have been remarkably restrained.

Have flexible hours kept you practising law?

I love being a lawyer in private practice and would find a way to keep doing it.

Having the flexibility now to spend time with my sons and provide my partner with the opportunity to advance her career makes my career even more satisfying.

What are the personal benefits of working flexibly?

Spending more time with my sons. I’m looking forward to the second half of my career (I’m not quite half way through) with greater enthusiasm and insight.

Will you work flexibly long term?

At least for this financial year, and probably until my younger son starts school. After that, we’ll see.

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