JMK Solicitors offer four-day week after two-year study



Working hours at Belfast and Newry firm JMK Solicitors have been reduced by a fifth, with no loss in pay, as part of an ongoing project to improve “work-life balance”.

The personal injury and road traffic accident specialist firm said its 60 staff members now have the option of working for four days a week or working across five shorter days.

The change was made early this year following a two-year-long research project aimed at improving efficiency across the firm.

Managing director Maurece Hutchinson said: “The purpose of this initiative is to improve the quality of life for each and every one of our team.

“Improved work-life balance will, we believe, enhance the reputation of our business and our client’s experience. We have over 60 staff and they truly are a credit to themselves and the company.

“When we launched the study in summer 2018, there was real excitement. We have been in operation for over 16 years and we have always tried to offer the best working environment and employee benefits package. Our staff were therefore reassured this was not a cost-cutting exercise.”

Michelle Murphy, HR and operations manager, added: “We set our teams the challenge of reviewing every working practice. We encouraged every staff member to look at their individual tasks and ask what was inefficient. This has been an insightful process and they have eliminated some tasks, streamlined other processes and used technology to make time savings.

“These suggestions were then recorded before being reviewed by the management team. We are pleased that the vast majority of their recommendations are being implemented.”

She added: “This project was not necessarily about reducing everyone to the fabled ‘four-day working week’. It might suit others to work their hours over five shorter days and if that’s what a staff member wants, we will try to accommodate. And this applies to any range of working practices that might now suit as a result of a range of factors outside of our or our employee’s control.”



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