I recently read an article on law.com. The article, Avoiding Office Return Dates, Firms Point to Vaccine Delays, Comfort With Remote Work, discusses the reopening of offices. In the article, law firm leaders are predicting full-time return to offices in the third or fourth quarter of 2021. While the law firm leaders quoted in the article are realistic about the timetable, and should be commended for their reasoning, I am not confident that their feelings are the norm.
I say this because I hear from my contacts that COVID fatigue and vaccines are creating a buzz that many law firms are trying to open sooner rather than later. Firm management is growing impatient and want their offices opened as soon as possible. One quote from the article clearly makes this point. “As I talk to chairmen of law firms today, the conversation has switched from ‘We’re operating remotely; things are going well’ to ‘How soon can we get our offices open,’ because there is damage being done to cultures, training and other areas,” legal industry consultant Brad Hildebrandt said in a panel discussion Thursday.
The smart leaders in the article understand the concerns of their employees. Further, they say they will only open their offices based upon those concerns. The most mentioned employee concerns are mass transit commuting, childcare issues, and overall safety. As such, they will not announce a reopening date until more information becomes available. Again, these leaders are being realistic that they will not be fully open until later in the year.
This is good news for many of my candidates. Why? Because we find rainmakers the perfect match law firm for them. If your current firm is pushing for a premature reopening of offices and you are uncomfortable, we can help. As the article shows, there are plenty of firms that get it. If you never want to go back to trains and buses, we can help find you a place closer to home. If childcare is a concern, we can find a law firm that will give you the necessary flexibility. We can even find you a fully remote opportunity. The success of remote work for almost a year has changed many perspectives. Therefore, no matter what your concerns are, there is most likely a law firm out there that will address those concerns.
Again, there will be law firms that reopen the right way. Hopefully, your firm is one of them. On the flip side, many firms will run into trouble with this. If your current firm is in this category, there are two possible solutions. You can either fight with management to get them to alter their reopening plans, or we can find the right place for you. Let’s talk about it.