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Could shorter work weeks be beneficial for lawyers?

In a world where the traditional nine-to-five workday is seen as outdated, Maddi Thimont’s experience highlights how a shortened work week can foster productivity and improve work/life balance.

user iconGrace Robbie 21 May 2024 Big Law
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Maddi Thimont leads the legal team at Sagacity, a London-based IT service and consulting company specialising in customer-centric solutions.

Speaking on a recent episode of The Corporate Counsel Show, she discussed how she has embraced a new work week structure, with shorter hours and the significant benefits it has brought to her professional and personal life.

Thimont expressed how she uncovered this unique opportunity to adopt a shortened work week, which is a significant departure from the conventional full-time schedule most legal professionals face.

 
 

“The position was advertised particularly as a 25-hour week role. And personally, in my experience, this doesn’t really come up that much. I hadn’t really seen many, particularly heads of legal roles out there, so I was quite surprised to see that,” she said.

Thimont explained how this condensed schedule enables her to juggle her duties as a mother and be more available for her children.

“I work from 10:00am until 3:00pm every day, which suits me perfectly with school-age children. I’m very happy to work five days per week, [and] I’m available to the business five days a week but also able to be present for my children and my family and me as well,” she said.

Her experience highlights the productivity and personal fulfilment that can come with a shorter, more intense workday.

“Those five hours per day are very intense, and I work very, very hard, and I’m very, very productive. I will probably get a lot more done, but that works really well for me,” she said.

Thimont underscored the benefit of working a 25-hour week by noting it allows her to maintain high efficiency and productivity during her working hours.

“From a professional perspective, I’m very focused, efficient and working intensely to get the job done for me and the business,” she said.

The benefits extend beyond professional efficiency, with Thimont emphasising how this shortened work schedule has allowed her to be more present in each aspect of her life.

“Overall, I mean, I feel very proud and grateful, and I’ve got a really good balance,” she said.

Another benefit of Thimont’s work arrangement is that it opens up additional growth opportunities.

“I also feel like I have a little bit more time for other growth opportunities. I want to do a GDPR data protection qualification on the side, and potentially, I could do a mini MBA or something like that further down the line,” she said.

Her flexible schedule also allows her to engage in a diverse range of opportunities.

“I’m a school governor [at] my son’s school, so [I’m] able to take those opportunities and attend networking events, catch up on things, attend law firm seminars here and there. So there is a bit more ability to kind of do that stuff outside of my working day,” she said.

Thimont’s experience is evidence of the potential benefits of a shortened work week, providing a model that could inspire other professionals and organisations to reconsider traditional work structures.