Making Work, Work

We can often make the mistake of talking about a portfolio career – utilising your experience and qualifications to work in more than one part time position or a series of contract positions– as something that happens as a result of circumstance or out of necessity, rather than realising it can be an extremely smart and strategic move. The number of people moving to a portfolio career is on the rise internationally, many of whom are opting to change the way they work to broaden their experience and challenge themselves further. Obelisk consultants have cited the extra opportunities that they have been able to seize as a result of adopting a portfolio career path. We take a closer look at some of these…

Expanding your horizons

Many Obelisk consultants have been able to work across multiple sectors that they would never have been exposed to in their previous career path. Likewise they were able to gain insights from a number of different clients, becoming exposed to their unique business needs. This has provided not just knowledge and insight to more industries, but also enhanced their softer skills set that are vital for lawyers.

A pace to suit you, now

Life changes mean, that for many in the legal sector, they will have to say goodbye to, or put the brakes on the career that they love. A portfolio career allows legal professionals to take on as much or as little work as they need and can handle at any given time. You can be in full control of your time and you no longer have to work to rigid expectations of others, but rather, find the balance between what works for you and the business concerned. A career break won’t hold you back in this regard; you can pick up work at a pace that suits and builds on your experience. Plus you can take on more work as and when you want to – some Obelisk consultants work on a stand by basis with clients and are available full-time when the need arises.

Brand new skills

A portfolio career can offer the opportunities to broaden your skillset in ways that a traditional career path may not. As an independent worker you are not only gaining further experience in law, you are also developing your skills in time management, client relations and business matters. The transferable skills you will acquire can lead to new challenges; it may inspire the confidence to set up an entirely new business, work as a coach or mentor or even write a book about your experiences. Obelisk consultant Rebecca Hayes was able to start and continue a freelance design business alongside her legal work, allowing her the balance between a creative outlet and legal knowledge, while another, Simon Frater, was able to pursue his interest in jewellery making as a silversmith.

Be a pioneer

More and more companies are looking for flexible and responsive legal talent to suit their schedules and changing business requirements. It can be hard for these companies to find legal professionals who have the experience and right approach to this kind of work. Building a portfolio career and being open to flexible working, opens the door to more opportunities for yourself, and also means you can help to lead the way in changing attitudes within the legal industry towards flexible and remote work, thereby providing more opportunities for others to work in a way that suits their lives.

Making Work, Work

How many hours are being lost in your organisation due to un-flexible working practices? That’s the question we have been putting out there since the launch of our #mymillionhours campaign towards the end of last year. We calculated that we have a total of 1 million hours available in our pool of legal talent. With that in mind, it’s easy for us to see why employing flexible working practices have increased productivity and competitive edge for so many organisations.

Outside of our own clients, organisations that are citing flexible working practices as a direct cause of an uptick in productivity include Lloyds Banking Group, where, in a Future of Work Institute report conducted in 2012, 66% of line managers and colleagues said they considered that flexibility improved efficiency and productivity. Cisco was another example from the study detailing significant productivity gains.

One of the main arguments for flexible working practices in business is the wellbeing and happiness of employees. But there are a whole host of reasons why flexible working provides a competitive advantage…

Individual productivity and morale

Starting with the main argument – flexible and remote ways of working allows employees to do what is required of them in their role in a manner that fits with other priorities in their day to day lives, as well as getting proper rest and recuperation time throughout the year. Happier, healthier employees naturally have more energy and enthusiasm for the tasks at hand, as well as reduced absenteeism due to sickness. However, there is another aspect to this – flexible working shouldn’t just be about avoiding burnout or working around obstacles to being in the office, it’s about fostering an entire working culture that treats everyone as individuals. Flexible working practices show trust, understanding and supportive attitudes towards all. Rather than feeling pushed out or a burden on the organisation, with flexible working culture open to all people feel more included and valued within an organisation.

Business overhead and efficiency savings

Our rapidly evolving technological landscape and globalised economy means that businesses have to be more agile and streamlined than ever. Every business of every size should also be considering its energy usage on a daily basis as part of a commitment to protecting the environment on which we all depend. Moving to mobile devices, shared office space etc. can dramatically cut down on wastage.

Optimisation of labour

By renouncing the culture of presenteeism in favour of a flexible model, organisations can better plan labour resources required at any given time, thus ensuring that no resource is underused or overburdened and everyone is working on exactly what needs to be done and is not losing time through travel, unnecessary meetings and the need to show face late into the evening just to impress the boss. When those pressing tasks are out of the way, the hours gained can be used to look to the next challenge, or allow you to spend more time on creative ideas and ways to grow the business – the bigger picture.

Bigger talent pool

By employing freelance, part time and contract staff your talent pool becomes broader. Re-activated talent makes up a huge portion of our legal workforce – many who had found it difficult to get back into work due to a culture of presenteeism have been able to take their career to the next level, and their clients have benefited immensely as a result! Latent talent is a huge cost to our economy, it’s time to tap into it and reap the rewards.

 

Making Work, Work

We are in the midst of some enormous shifts in our working culture, with flexible and remote working becoming a more common feature, and often the standard approach in some organisations. 97% of UK businesses now offer at least one form of flexible working, according to an article in the Financial Times, which discusses the seemingly minimal take-up of flexible working in UK despite policy shifts.

In some industries in particular flexible working is not being actively encouraged or grasped by workers. Why is there is still reluctance and resistance to the idea? It’s not only company leaders who are resisting, employees are reluctant to enquire about options for fear of being negatively perceived. It’s time we busted the myths and dispelled the remaining anxiety around flexible working patterns…

It will cost my business

In actual fact, negative attitudes to flexible working are probably one of the biggest things holding back British businesses. While it is has been shown in multiple surveys and reports that the majority of workers favour flexible working options over any employment benefit, a third of employees still worry that their bosses will think negatively of them if they were to request flexible or remote working options, according to a poll from webexpenses.

It is becoming increasingly accepted that happier, healthier employees who are able to maintain a work life balance will be more productive. The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)’s ‘Goodbye 9 to 5’ study found a  huge 82% of managers thought that flexible working was beneficial to their business, in terms of improved staff productivity, commitment and staff retention, with almost 40% of UK bosses saying they can see the positive impact mobile working has on their business’ bottom line. Plus, since 81% of respondents to a My Family Care/Hydrogen report stated they would look for flexible work options before joining a new company, it is an essential condition to have to ensure you attract the talent you need.

It shows a lack of commitment

Amazingly, this negative perception comes from younger employees; with a survey of Gen Y finding that 31% believe that opting to work means being less committed to their work. On the contrary, people who take on flexible working are very committed, determined people. Many of Obelisk’s own consultants are simultaneously running businesses or pursuing other goals they would otherwise not have been able to. The fact is they are fully engaged with their work, perhaps even more so, as they are doing it because they want to. Flexible working allows people a route to continue or return to the work they love when they might have otherwise been forced to give up. The opportunity to do so is very much appreciated and is never taken for granted.

It’s only for women with children

Obelisk consultants include women with children, women without, men with children, and men without. Flexible working isn’t about allowing a certain demographic to work differently; it’s adopting a change to our entire working culture for better wellbeing, use of talent and productivity across the board. It’s important as a manager to offer flexible working options that are available and encouraged for all employees, to avoid creating resentment and ensuring that a complete culture is created, rather than some additional conditions for a few.

We don’t have the technology

You don’t need to overhaul your system to allow people to work remotely and securely from their own devices. By ensuring you put a strong mobile working policy in place, you can keep files and sensitive information secure. Shared drives and messaging platforms are all cost effective and easy to set up around systems already in place. Mobile working technology can be invested in and maintained within even the slimmest of budgets.

It is not appropriate for managers and more senior professionals

The culture of presenteeism is particularly prevalent amongst senior employees and business owners, so it’s understandable that many senior managers simply think that flexible working doesn’t apply to them. As previously stated, it is vital that flexible working options are available to all employees of all ages, and indeed levels, to foster a successful flexible working environment.

At Obelisk we have seen huge changes in approaches to flexible working in the legal services industry. We look at every role in terms of an opportunity for more flexible way of making work work, whether it is full time, part-time or remote. Attitudes are changing but we need to keep the conversation going to ensure options are made available to everyone, and are more widely taken up.

Making Work, Work

If you work on a freelance basis, you may not receive formal appraisals.  However, your personal performance will be central to the chances of being offered new opportunities. Working as a legal consultant s requires you to be aware of the pressures on legal departments to deliver accurate legal and commercially focused advice to their businesses. There may be a perception that freelancers may not take performance issues as seriously as full-time staff because of their temporary nature.  Yet in our experience, successful consultants (as well as personal pride in doing a job well) know that high performance is critical to their success in working in a freelance capacity. This requires an ability to ‘read’ the culture and standards necessary of the permanent team and matching them. However, without a traditional employment structure to set performance reviews and parameters, how does a consultant measure and monitor their performance?

Assess the business needs and priorities

It is vital to find a way to assess the needs and priorities of a client’s business and ensure they are being met. At Obelisk, the client relationship team seek to understand their needs and suggest tailored legal solutions involving specialised consultants. Obelisk has built up a unique picture and understanding of the clients’ needs and pressure points and are aware that a legal team has to deliver to its business to a very high standard. This emphasis is important to understand as a consultant and your credibility and future work opportunities very much depends on meeting the client’s specific needs.

What skills are GC’s looking for?

Needs do vary across organisations and sectors, but there are some broad expectations that can help you measure your performance on the job. We spoke to general counsel across a variety of sectors: banking and financial services, multinational consumer goods and footwear and clothing, to investigate what they see as the key skills and focus for an in house lawyer.

  • Legal competency is a given, but lawyers must be able to show how they keep up to date
  • Evidence of core skills – drafting, negotiation, advocacy and communication
  • Commercial nous, an in-depth understanding of sector specific issues for the business (e.g. resourcing, supply chain, distribution and delivery of services, employment, IP etc.)
  • The ability to forge relationships with sector trade bodies and regulators, if the role requires this
  • Ability to co-ordinate across the different business functions and communicate effectively
  • Capacity to advise the business with solutions, but within their risk appetite – what one GC called ‘Simplify, Navigate and Solve’.
  • Competency with technology platforms – be aware of the commonly used tools in business and particularly those that can help you work effectively Awareness of the cultural ethos and communication styles and be able to report effectively with the context of the business in mind
  • Consider the long-game even when coming in on a very short-term project – clients have had experiences that have left a mess to be cleaned up when the job is done, so it’s vital to understand bigger picture of job you are doing
  • To summarise: good in house lawyers are a part of the business in all senses.

How to build this into your career as a consultant

Here is some guidance on continuous reviewing of performance as a legal consultant:

Aside from analysing your performance from a client perspective, it’s important to assess your own goals and objectives in line with the client’s: is the project moving you forwards?  What can you learn whilst working to improve your skills and experience? Is there any capacity for training informal or formal whilst in the role? Such as handbooks and templates which may give sector specific insights. At Obelisk, you will get free access to PLC when in role and reduced cost access to external training courses, as well as free monthly workshops and links in the weekly update letter. Under the new SRA Continuing Competency requirements, you have to keep up to date and keep a plan and record of how you are maintaining professional competent.

Communication

It is our experience that the key to successful freelance work is building trust swiftly and this is achieved by clear and open communication. Address minor frustrations before they escalate. Your client may not be showing any signs of frustration but are you experiencing some of your own? Is there a way of solving the issue, could you be communicating more effectively? Reflect on the ease in which you are able to complete tasks, if you don’t have everything you need to do the job well, it is up to you to speak up. Understanding targets and priorities are particularly important when working in a freelance capacity. We can help and advise you if you are unclear.

As a consultant, you need to have empathy and understanding of every client and their business on a level that you would have as a permanent member of staff, so continually reviewing these key points against your own work is vital. We seek feedback from clients during each role and will discuss this with you as well as an end of role assessment. We view this as key in terms of meeting our client’s needs and ensuring that our consultants are given every chance to succeed.

Family & WorkWomen in Law

“It is fantastic to be able to provide a useful service despite lifestyle changes, and to be valued for what you can contribute.”

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am an ex-city asset finance lawyer, happily living on the Sussex coast, wife to my childhood sweetheart and mum to Podge the house rabbit, an uber-intelligent autistic 8 year old son and my ballerina/vet/future prime minister 5 year old daughter.

Why did you decide to go freelance and work for Obelisk?

I have been with Obelisk for about two and a half years. I moved into freelance work because combining family life and my city work pattern was becoming impossible.  After a short career break I felt that dipping a toe into freelance work through Obelisk might just work, and two and half years later it still is!

What has working in this way enabled you to do differently?

I work completely differently to conventional work patterns, working at any time during a 24-hour period and fully remotely.  This means I can do the school run, help with homework, have a life and still commit to the number of hours of work a day my clients require.

What roles have you had during this time?

Through Obelisk I have been placed in 7 different roles, three of which are still on-going. I have worked for IT, media and telecoms companies and also for a large online retailer. My roles have included everything from large due diligence projects, holiday cover, ad hoc support and projects spanning several months.  My work is incredibly varied, and my role for my clients varies from being their sole legal resource to being part of large team of in-house lawyers, to everything in between.

How do you work with clients?

I work fully remotely (with the occasional trip into London for a client meeting), and I prefer to work part-time for several clients at a time. In terms of how we communicate, on one of my placements we had a weekly “team meeting” which everyone dialled into, to update the team on their current matters and seek help/advice as needed.  That system worked very well for me, as being remote it is important to link into the wider team you are supporting.  Another of my clients Skypes me for regular chats and to give instructions, which again enables me to participate in a similar way as I would in an office environment

Have you been able develop skills or extend your experience into other areas?

My skills and experience are unrecognisable from those of the specialist city lawyer I used to be.  I have learnt to research things I need the answer to, draft without precedents and understand business need quickly.  My city-experience was 11 years of asset finance, but now I am also confident to review and advise on IT/media/telecoms and retail matters, which is an opportunity I would never have had in city private practice.  As a result, I am a much more well-rounded lawyer.

How has the legal services market changed over the course of your professional career?

It is unrecognisable since I did my first city vacation placement in 1998.  There was one career path then: you either moved up to the next PQE level, or you left.  Equally for clients, they had very little choice in terms of the legal services available to them, having to pay for lawyers’ office overheads and services which were not necessarily tailored for their needs, or hire full time permanent in-house lawyers.  Now there are so many paths available to lawyers, and clients have so many more flexible options for how to resource their legal needs.  So many of us find that our ambitions and lives change during the course of our careers, it is fantastic to be able to provide a useful service despite lifestyle changes, and to be valued for what you can contribute, using your life experience as well as legal experience.

 

Making Work, Work

Burnout isn’t inevitable. On National Stress Awareness Day, we look at the endemic levels of stress in the legal profession and why it should no longer be tolerated as ‘part of the job’.

How much stress in our careers is acceptable? Law is widely considered to be one of the most highly stressful industries by those both inside and outside the profession. We all thrive on a certain amount of pressure, but on-going periods of high stress can have serious implications on physical and mental health.

Lawyers and the Pursuit of Happiness is a recent study by Keystone Law examining the happiness and wellbeing of 300 legal professionals. It found more than 63% of those surveyed believe law is more stressful than any other profession. Other studies have shown mental health occurrences more than double in law than other professions. Tellingly, the majority of respondents in the Keystone study (37.5%) cited flexible working as a solution to make job more enjoyable and less stressful.

As the legal services industry begins to change, flexible working patterns are more available to people with family and life demands. But this isn’t the whole story – it’s not just about accommodating personal circumstance, it’s about changing the culture of legal work to stop accepting burnout as an inevitable price to pay for being a lawyer. Legal work is highly valuable and it requires years of training, experience and aptitude to do the job well. However, it shouldn’t mean that people should have to run themselves into the ground to be successful. Everyone has to put in the overtime now and again, but a fair share of downtime should be facilitated. Client demands, a key point of stress for many lawyers in the study, can be met with more human first working patterns. As pointed out to us recently by an Obelisk consultant, with these changes clients have so many more flexible options to resource their legal needs, rather than paying for services and overheads they don’t require – potentially reducing stress on their part. With changing working patterns more and more companies are discovering that more can be achieved with less impact on mental and physical health, and that fostering culture with extreme levels of pressure is counterproductive long term. Healthier, happier legal professionals work better and are therefore likely to keep doing so for longer.

Take action

The International Stress Management Association identifies the psychological, emotional, physical and behavioural stress symptoms, such as memory lapses, mood swings, weight fluctuations and self-neglect. If you feel it is time to start making some changes to the way you work, there are options out there, and people you can talk to – many of whom have been there and come through the other side. Talk to a doctor, and have some honest conversations with friends and relations. Be part of the change and consider flexible working options to take control of your working life, and together perhaps we can banish the culture of burnout once and for all.

Stop stress from being the measure by which you value your worth as a professional. Explore The Attic for more thoughtful reads on the topic.

Making Work, Work

A recent report showed that 81% of people would look for flexible working before joining a new company. But businesses in the western world are still slow to respond to the demands for flexible and remote work infrastructures.

Last week, we were looking at the details of a report on The Competitive Advantage of Flexible and Family Friendly Working, compiled by My Family Care. The report looked at the way that people across a variety of industries work and how they want to work. It provided some very interesting insights about both employees and employers. According to the results, a whopping 81% of employees would look for flexible working options before joining a company. In addition, over half of respondents (53%) would prefer flexible work over a 5% salary increase. Naturally the trend is slightly stronger amongst parents and carers, but overall the majority of Millennials and those over the age of 34 would like to work flexible to some degree (51% and 71% respectively).

And while 32% actively promote flexible work practices in their business, 68% admit they don’t, while 61% of companies involved in the study say they allow flexible working to take place ‘under the radar’. There is still the impression that a high number of business leaders recognise the need to embrace remote and flexible work patterns. Perhaps, because industry cultures are slow to respond to the growing trend, they are reluctant to take the leap and invest in a proper course of action. Indeed, this would be backed up by another recent study by Epicor that found companies in the developed world are slow to invest in technologies such as sharing platforms, and cloud storage that support remote and flexible working patterns. Emerging markets are proving to be a step ahead, with 75% of businesses in emerging markets agree that flexible working practices and technologies are significant in helping retain key people (compared to 62% of respondents from developed countries).

With our focus this month on the time and productivity gains to be made from the 1 Million Hours available to legal businesses from our pool of talent, statistics like those above still come as a surprise. Our global, mobile society is hardly a new or emerging trend, so we would expect to see more businesses actively investing and promoting agile and remote working practices. Those who are doing so would appear to still be pioneers of progression.

Get in touch to be part of the changing legal landscape and see what you can gain from working differently.

Family & WorkWomen in Law

“By freelancing I find things that are interesting but also have variety by switching clients reasonably frequently”

How long have you been with Obelisk?
I joined in 2015. After a 3 year career break, I returned as a freelance lawyer when our second child was 9 months old. My first role through Obelisk was as a corporate lawyer for a major multi-national company in the engineering sector.

How do you work with clients?
I’m able to work part time with a mix of working at the client’s office and working remotely. I chose these methods of working as it suits me better; being able to work more hours without wasting time commuting and also to spend more time with my children. What has been interesting is that I have been able to work in this way across different clients and practice areas.

How has your career developed?
I was originally in City private practice, then in a full time in-house role. For now I think I will probably continue to freelance as it is very flexible – if I feel I have too much or too little to do, I can adjust my hours from contract to contract which is invaluable at this stage of our family’s life. Working as a freelancer has allowed me to find things that are interesting but also have variety by switching clients reasonably frequently.  I also don’t feel worried about committing to a permanent job for a long period which might not suit me in the longer term as the demands of having a young family change.

How do you feel the legal profession is changing?
The market has changed hugely!  When I started my maternity leave for my first child I couldn’t work out how there would be a way to go back to work as a lawyer (even as an in-house lawyer) that didn’t involve commuting, a major time commitment, and probably some rather uninspiring work. Now you can work for credible companies, continue to get good experience and develop and broaden your skills plus with the added bonus of remote and part-time work too.

Family & Work

When work doesn’t fit with the multiple facets of our lives, we are in danger of losing sight of ourselves

We can sometimes make the mistake of going to extreme lengths to keep ourselves in the career loop when life changes. We try to do things the same way we did before, allowing little room to focus on developing particular skills and industry knowledge. Working endless hours in the office with no real gain, or working at home with a baby yet to settle into a decent routine, while you simultaneously try to get to grips with all the accounting and filing that come with life as a newbie freelancer, does not make for a happy productive mix – the latter being my own experience. It’s true that even when taking the leap to being your own boss, you can still fall into the trap of working to benefit others, rather than figuring out what works best for both of you.

When I look back on those early days, however, I am grateful as it made me realise what I was able to deliver, and pushed me to pursue steadier, on-going projects that really captured my interests. Realising things weren’t going well allowed me to focus and truly develop, and organise my time more effectively, rather than flying by the seat of my pants each day. I’ve taken leaps of courage, and in many ways this has made me a better mother too, as my own routine is more settled I can focus better attention on what my daughter needs from me – simple things such as prolonged conversation, planning ahead for costume parties and all those other important things in a school child’s life.

Perspective and clarity is needed to make those leaps of courage and push yourself outside the comfort zone. You need to be able to look forward (and indeed back) to make those defining decisions; and you can’t do that if you’re only living in the urgent now. And it’s an ongoing process: to be able to periodically take stock to see where you are, where you want to be, and what you need to do to get there, requires work that fits with you and your life. Having that headspace and emotional wellbeing is vital; without it you cannot be in the mind frame to study, train or even decide on the next project that’s going to take you to the next level in your career. There is no point barely scraping through bits of work that don’t contribute to a bigger picture – you don’t do your best work, progress is slower and it can actually be less financially rewarding, as the lack of confidence that comes with it can leave you not feeling in a position to ask for better rates. Perspective makes you able to see your strengths and what you are truly worth, so even if you are still caught up in the daily grind, it really does pay to take the time you think you don’t have to assess whether you really are working in the most effective way – the way that allows you to be as present as possible in every aspect of your life.

For some, there is still the sense that if we allow life to ‘get in the way’, we’ve let ourselves and others down. We can forget that all of life is what makes us, not just our work, as important as that is. We also forget that we are not alone in that situation, that everyone is juggling something; be it young family, care for elderly relatives, spouse illness, or numerous other priorities. The more we are honest and communicate with one another about these things, rather than pretending to be super human, understanding can be found and better teamwork and productivity follows. On the other side, as an employer if you provide a workplace that allows people to work in harmony with the changes in their lives, you attract talent that you would otherwise miss out on, preventing everyone else from getting stuck in the cycle too.

Of course it will never be perfect: there will always be a period of daily fire fighting or unforeseen circumstance. But if it seems like every hour of every day is taking that shape, it may be time to step back and look at what needs to change. You could be amazed at where a little bit of perspective can take you.

Making Work, Work

The future of work is already human. We just need to be more human, more of the time – Roger Steare, corporate philosopher

If you were following the #workischanging event hosted by CIPD this week, there were some interesting insights into the future of work, with flexible working and technology being two of the main topics discussed. Mobile technology, computerisation of traditionally human led job roles, reinventing the office and office culture, and the rise of the freelance economy; all these developments show our working world is a much different picture to the 9 to 5 cubicle office life that we still have the tendency to see as the traditional default.

What these changes really have at the heart is human endeavour and wellbeing. Shaking up office culture is all about creating the conditions to get the most out of workers, by making them happier in work and more able to balance their work and personal lives.

Obelisk has also been hearing what people would do with the time made available to them by working smarter and more productively in a flexible environment, as part of our #MyMillionHours campaign. We’ve looked in detail at the economic gains that can be made by reactivating talent and allowing people with fluctuating personal lives a way to continue working in harmony with those priorities. The numbers don’t lie, but what the discussion keeps coming back to is the prioritisation of worker’s wellbeing enabling everyone to do a better job at home and in their work, and remain happy and committed to the job they are in.

Expecting people to be boxed into work conditions that don’t accommodate their real, everyday lives should have long been dismissed as counterintuitive, yet it has been an accepted normality for so many for so long. By treating workers as human first, and shaping our changing working landscape around human life patterns and emotional reactions, while developing technology that enables us to do our jobs better, more efficiently and in more locations than ever, that acceptance gives way to innovation and change.

The very nature of modern business is fast paced, requiring businesses and people to be agile,  proactive, and reactive, with weekly and daily changes to projects, marketing campaigns, customer service responses, legal contracts and much more. Bringing in freelance workers on a project by project basis helps fight those daily fires, and allows businesses to bring in the specific talent and expertise required at the time. By doing so, a pool of latent talent is being tapped, and people who previously felt locked out of work or unable to progress their careers find their skills and experience reactivated, with their confidence and drive increased as a result.

It doesn’t need spelling out what an increase in confidence, wellbeing and ambition can do for the economy and society as a whole. Injecting 1 million hours into the legal sector can bring a much needed improvement to working patterns and wellbeing within the industry. Work for the majority of us is our passion – for many it is a vocation – and the feeling when it no longer is compatible with our lives is a devastating one. Seizing the opportunities presented by the changing working landscape could mean that no one has to experience that feeling again, and that talent can be brought back to life and used to make the lives of clients easier too. Changing work for the better is a matter of putting humans at the centre.