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Linklaters crowdsources work/life balance solutions

Hopes to find 'innovative ideas that completely turn things on their head'

13 October 2015

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Magic-circle law firm Linklaters has launched today a crowdsourcing initiative to generate ideas and solutions to the work/life balance challenges faced at the firm.

The online conversation, dubbed 'The Jam', runs for 72 hours and is open to all Linklaters members and staff worldwide. Regular polls will be conducted to test opinions and funnel ideas into solutions.

The debate is expected to tackle a range of issues, including work allocation, improving recognition and flexible working models.

"What work/life balance means for each and every individual is often different and this is why we are encouraging people to contribute honestly in an open forum," said Fiona Hobbs, a partner at Linklaters.

"Through crowdsourcing we are hoping to identify some solutions. Some may be small changes that make things easier for the few or the many, others may prove really innovative ideas that completely turn things on their head."

The firm's annual Global Engagement Survey of all lawyers and business services staff identified work/life balance as an area for improvement.

The initiative aims to address issues like "presenteeism, silly stereotypes about the 'real' contribution of people working from home, or the 'commitment' of those who ask for some flexibility to go see their children's school play". Hobbs noted that "these behaviours have no place in today's workplace".

Concluded Hobbs: "Ultimately, we are not willing to accept the 'it is what it is' argument, as even small improvements make a difference."

At the end of 'The Jam', the firm intends to share the ideas and solutions that emerged from the global discussion and to support the implementation of "reasonable, practical and affordable ideas".

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