Practice Development Counsel

Phyllis weiss haserot
Phyllis weiss haserot

President & Founder

212 593-1549

E-Alerts: Organizational Effectiveness Archives

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Individual Commitment To The Flexibility Bargain – 7 Tips

September, 2005

Your firm agrees to your proposal for an alternative to the traditional office workplace arrangement, whether it be flexibility in hours, work location, or roles performed.

Great so far! Now what are the ingredients of your commitment to make the arrangement work for the firm and for your client team?

  • Make yourself available for in person meetings or phone conferences when really necessary for client work or for discussion of management issues and training commitments.
  • Be willing, when really necessary to trade-off time required on a matter for time off at another time when your service is less urgently required.
  • Check in regularly with your supervisor and client teams, report status of your work, get matter updates from others so that everyone is current on the status of work and what has to be done.
  • Keep accurate time and task records and submit them promptly.
  • Err on the side of over-communication rather than be perceived to be out of touch.
    Check voicemail and e-mail when not in the office.
  • Adhere to the business plan you submitted and agreed to with your practice group leader.
  • Don't emphasize or draw attention to your family or other out-of-office responsibilities. Just take care of your commitments quietly.

When you operate on a basis that diverges from the norm (whatever that is), there will always be some people who can be uncomfortable, even resentful, of your arrangement, often for no rational reason. To avoid any kind of stigma and push back, create the perception that you are always accessible within reason. Don't let anyone be able to say truthfully, "He's rarely in the office, so I can't talk with him about my problem."

It's a juggling act, but it can be done. And success at it will breed success and further opportunity for flexibility.

© Phyllis Weiss Haserot, 2005. All rights reserved.