November 8, 2019, 12:58 pm CST
A personal injury law firm in Orlando, Florida, has adopted a four-day workweek to give employees an extra day to run errands, attend to personal matters and spend time with family.
All five lawyers at the firm, as well as 14 out of its 19 staffers, opted for the four-day week. Those on the four-day schedule still put in a full 40 hours a week, working 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
One of the five lawyers has to work each Friday, on a rotating basis, to cover consultations or incoming work.
Managing partner Walter Benenati tells the American Lawyer the decision to go to a four-day week was one of the best decisions of his life. Now he spends Fridays with his family. “I realized it’s so important to be able to pick up your kid and see your wife on Friday,” Benenati said.
It’s also benefiting the office because both morale and productivity have risen.
Experts tell the American Lawyer that a shortened workweek can reduce the stigma associated with taking time off. When everyone works the same reduced schedule, there is no danger of being seen as less committed.
Still, no one expects the legal industry to embrace four-day workweeks, according to the article. “Law firms aren’t going to be trailblazers,” said Nathan Peart, a consultant at Major, Lindsey & Africa.