{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Honestly don't understand why people are so opposed to going into the office. Is this because you think spending 20-60 min commuting each way costs you billables? Personally I need separation between work and home. It helps my mental health but the anger I see in some posts about having to go to the office is strange to me.", "post_id": "622749a53220ce002a10d608", "reply_count": 280, "vote_count": 59, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }
null

Honestly don't understand why people are so opposed to going into the office. Is this because you think spending 20-60 min commuting each way costs you billables? Personally I need separation between work and home. It helps my mental health but the anger I see in some posts about having to go to the office is strange to me.

likefunny
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Oh a whole host of reasons

- as you note, the commuting time is “wasted” time that I could be spending billing, sleeping, exercising, watching TV, reading a book, literally anything else
- there’s also the time required to get “office ready”. Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman and how casual your office is, I can’t imagine the added time for getting ready for a day in the office versus getting ready for a day at home is zero for anyone. For many, that can be another significant chunk of time
- wasted down time. In my practice area, I often have last minute down time if a call is cancelled or wraps up early. If I’m in the office, there’s a limited amount of things I can do with that time. As much as I like socializing with my co-workers, they aren’t always available at the times I have down time and personally I like being able to handle a personal task/chore and free up some non-work time for more stuff or if my kids are home, see them for 20 minutes
- seeing my family, especially kids. If I’m in the office, I often won’t see my kids for more than 10 minutes during the morning rush out the door during the week. If I’m working from home, there are a lot of small found pockets of time. I can also have a meal with them - it takes me 20-30 minutes to eat anyways, I’d rather spend that time with my kids instead of at my desk scrolling through the internet.
-I didn’t realize this until I started working from home but it’s actually somewhat exhausting having to be “on” all day. I’m a white woman, I imagine attorneys of color feel this more deeply. It’s tiring to deal with micro aggressions and have to pretend not to notice, wonder if I look too emotional, etc. there’s a whole layer of emotional work I have to perform in the office I don’t have to at home.
- I am pretty social so I end up socializing a bunch of the day which is fun until I realize I haven’t gotten anything done during the day and have to make up that time in the evening. I used to be able to close my door but now we have glass offices so waving off people is more challenging.
-there is no separation for me anyways. Emails and calls start before I wake up and go into the evening.

I’m happy to go in for events, meetings, etc but going in regularly adds a lot of stress and significantly cuts into my free time

likesmarthelpful

Agree with the “being on” thing 100%. I went in one day this week (supposed to do more…oh well) and it took me a full day to recover and I was struggling at my normal wake up/gym time.

I find it very condescending and disrespectful that we’re basically being forced in because it’s what a few people want and we “need help to realize the benefits of working at the office.” (Yes, that was actually written)

like

For any professional service industry: For new hires and especially young employees it’s crucial to be able to be in the office. You can shadow your boss who can provide hands on training. You get to meet stakeholders in other departments and forge those essential relationships for when you need their help to save your ass. You get to meet your colleagues in the bullpen who provide social support, mental support, are a fantastic resources for troubleshooting new problems (99% of the problems you get are new to you), and who provide a great frame of reference for whether you’re: working more/less harder than others; struggling with problems more/less than others; have more/less work than others.

You lose that with remote. Professionals are now being paid more than ever, and yet job satisfaction is worse than before and people are quitting and job hopping more than before. We’re not made to be isolated. It’s also way easier to slack off at home. I’m not saying remote workers don’t do work, nor am I saying you can’t waste time in the office. I’m saying when you’re in the office you can’t sit on the couch and binge 4 hrs of Netflix, or start drinking at 1pm on a Friday, or try to break your daily masturbation record (without a significant HR violation).

Some teams can succeed with a remote policy, but generally they had already forged strong relationships through the office.

Yes commutes suck. But full remote isn’t working either.

likefunnysmart

We are supposed to be back in the office a few days a week. Over 2 weeks, I’ve spent approximately 4 hours driving, almost $60 on parking, god knows how much on gas, all to bump into a partner in my practice group a single time and have 60 seconds of chit chat. I’m so glad I shortened workouts or went without extra sleep to avoid traffic and waste time and money for that valuable 60 seconds.

I’m lying. Make a point to reach out to juniors in the office and arrange coffee or lunch (except also please keep any covid to yourself) and we’ll come in. But even a few days a week is pointless and disruptive to my life if there’s nothing in it for me.

likeuplifting
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Maybe a hot take, but I suspect OP is a man.

I am a woman and BL associate working in an office that is typically business professional. So, yes, the commute sucks, but so does the time wasted getting ready to look “business professional” to sit in my office with the door closed and so does needing to wear heels and tights.

I’ve worked from home in leggings and a t shirt for two years while my productivity soared. Day-to-day business professional (set aside client meetings, court, etc) is arbitrary and fuels my resistance to leaving my WFH arrangement.

likesmarthelpfulfunny

Being ugly since I was born, does that mean I can give up wearing makeup?

No one is stopping you from going to the office. Just let people work the way they work best.

likeuplifting

Thank you! Shut up and drive. Leave us alone.

like

2 hours a day is a lot of time that can be spent with family, yourself, exercising or literally anything. Plus when home you don’t have to clock watch when you are slow and sit around waiting for “an acceptable” time to walk out of the office. When home I can walk to the gym or get a head start on preparing dinner during that time. The whole “look busy” stress of the office is silly and no one wants to do that.

like

I’m back in 2 days and the fact that I have full capability to work from home makes me not think twice about dipping at 3 when I feel like it to avoid traffic

like

I’m an Asian woman in NYC and I am honestly freaked out by the near daily unprovoked attacks on Asians. I’m not going into the office unless absolutely necessary.

likesmart

As a fellow attorney of color, I’m disappointed with the lack of response from large firms on this issue. Especially in NYC. I’ve seen informal arrangements where aapi Associates have arranged to stay wfh despite firm in office mandates. I’ve even seen some groups informally offer to comp Ubers to avoid some of the risk, but everything is very under the table with no official show of support or understanding publicly… Disappointing to say the least.

like

You don’t understand that people can have opinions and life experiences different from your own?

likesmart

What you're not reading is the "so opposed" part. If you're part of an organization, doesn't it help the organization, and your career, to be invested in the organization you're working for? I get people wanting to minimize the extra time, that's what I assumed was the primary gripe, what I've learned is there are other things beyond the time that folks don't like about the office.

If you're an associate who is on lease to your firm for a limited period of time, I see why you might be "so opposed" to going to the office. You have no interest in being a contributing member of the organization, you're just there until your lease is up.

like

WHO is paying y’all to post this every other week?! Yes, we legit want to work from home.

likefunny

I'm a second year and just got approved to move out of state while remaining based out of my current office. Times are changing, SC1.

like

I’m also curious how the younger and single associates meet people. When I was in my mid twenties, work was the easiest way to meet people to go out with after work or on weekends; whether that was at work or when grabbing lunch/coffee nearby. I just can’t imagine how someone working biglaw hours from home ever has the chance to socialize with new people. Maybe someone can explain that?

likesmart

Because I’m looking to date and the firm prohibits me from dating my coworkers….?

like

I just don’t need that separation in the form of a commute, especially when the job isn’t actually one I can leave at the door, so every minute I’m not getting ready and commuting is another minute I can spend doing things that do benefit my mental health. I eat better and get more things done around the house. I’m an introvert and don’t feel nearly as drained now. I’m a happier person now and I feel more human M-F than I ever did before while billing just as much.

likehelpful

Thank you A20!!! This is 100000% true

like

I like the flexibility and control over my day that I get back by not being in the office. I can nap, go for a walk, be braless (and in my bonnet, because I barely even turn my camera on), make meals, more easily see my family and friends and *still* give the firm 2100-ish hours. From the office, the firm gets the hours, but I don’t get me. From home, we both get what we want.

likesmart

Bc gas is over $7 in Ca, son.

like

A16 but actually tho!!!

It’s not even an issue relating to my job itself. It significantly complicates logistics. My kids all have different things they need to be at around 5:30-7. When I’m home, this isn’t an issue. When I’m in the office, I have to take my commute into account, figure out how to get them places, leave earlier than might be “acceptable,” etc. It adds a level of stress that I don’t need.

And I’m a man.

like

I get this. I'm not involved in the shuttling during the week. Only on the weekend but I get that many families share these duties.

funny

I’m full remote:
(1) Pros no commute (time and money)
(2) No time getting ready in the am
(3) more exercise
(4) healthier food
(5) cheaper food
(6) more time with my wife
(7) more time for household chores
(8) less distractions as I talked a lot to people around the office
(9) utilize downtime
(10) no shame leaving early
(11) I care less about my job
(12) higher performance

Cons
(1) I had lots of work friends at work who I miss
(2) TBD on if this hurt promotion chances
(3) necessitates a larger home/apartment
(4) some additional expenses from being at home all day (more water and electricity usage)

Even when I worked at the office I was constantly working so I don’t find separation useful. Instead of midnight closings at the office I have midnight closings at home and get dinner with my wife instead of my deal team.

I never want to go back to an office.

likesmart

I have so much random downtime in an unpredictable transactional practice that getting to spend that working out or walking my dog or hanging out with my husband is a huge quality of life increase.

like

I don’t like working in the office because it’s a far walk to the bathroom, I don’t like small talk, carpet or fluorescent lights, the air is poor quality, my monitor at home is better, my dog is at home, it’s always too cold, can’t wear sweatpants.

like

If they let us bring dogs to work maybe I’ll go in once a week

I used to only work at the office, even on weekends and very late nights. I loved listening to a podcast or audiobook l during my commute. But I’m actively resisting going back.

I ran the math on the amount of time I lose each time I go into the office. Between getting work-ready, commuting, food, interruptions from colleagues, and lack of energy by the time I get home, I lose something like 4 hours minimum on BS. I also have to completely change my schedule to accommodate traffic.

Plus, my home tech is so much nicer than my office tech. And I lost so much weight by eating at home.

like

Because an hour each way is even more time away from my life and given to the job essentially. I like to workout and have hobbies, it’s easier to do those things from home. Hence I’m in about a day and a half even though our policy is three days in. Going to continue until someone calls me out

likeuplifting

I’m in the same boat. Hopefully no one notices and if they do, maybe I’ll get garden leave. Win win?

like

If you want seperation go in yourself or go for a walk, don't force others to add 20% to their hours for a stupid commute, additional oversight/pettiness, and company worse than family

like

I have no interest in forcing anyone to do anything, I simply asked a question I was curious about. The time thing is the reason that I get. It's the other stuff that was new to me.

Not commuting I can bill 10 hours a day, go to the gym, have relax time in the evenings and get 8-9 hours of sleep. This simply cannot be done the days I have to go in.

like

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