{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Interested to hear from Associates: if you are able to have hybrid office/WFH schedule but you are still not showing up at the office, what would convince you to do so? Looking for incentives/rewards/prizes - things that might tempt you. (This is not a philosophical debate; I understand and empathize with pandemic realities and I am a full supporter of WFH on a full-time basis, but incentive policies still need to be set so please respond appropriately with reasonable suggestions.) Thank you!", "post_id": "61fc53945135530031c43e4d", "reply_count": 89, "vote_count": 7, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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Interested to hear from Associates: if you are able to have hybrid office/WFH schedule but you are still not showing up at the office, what would convince you to do so? Looking for incentives/rewards/prizes - things that might tempt you. (This is not a philosophical debate; I understand and empathize with pandemic realities and I am a full supporter of WFH on a full-time basis, but incentive policies still need to be set so please respond appropriately with reasonable suggestions.) Thank you!

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Two things would do it. First, make sure I know WHY I am coming into the office twice a week. Like, how does it connect to the firm, how does it connect to the clients, how does it connect to the work. If you are asking me to come in to the office just for the sake of coming into the office or you offer me really vague reasons for doing so, then I will resent the request and, while I will show up, I won't be happy about it, and I might start looking for other employment.

The lawyers at your firm, from the managing equity partner in the corner office to the contract attorney clicking "responsive" in the basement, are all professionals, and you should treat them as such. This means sharing with them the ways that their being at the office is a way that helps the firm succeed.

likesmart

-On site childcare
-Commuting credit
-Contributing to my higher rent or mortgage so that my family and I can live closer to the office
-Free lunch of my choosing
-More comfortable office space, I want a couch for naps and a TV for background noise (I can watch it with headphones on but I am more productive with background noise) so if you make my office like a little hotel room it might be cool.
-My kids should be able to visit assuming they’re well behaved, which mine are. My daughter could quietly sit and do her homework next to me as she does when I’m working from home anyway.
-On site gym and membership, nice gym with nice showers and lockers etc.
-Anyone exhibiting face-time behavior publicly electrocuted.

likefunnyupliftingsmart

If so, A9 needs to be publicly electrocuted :)

funny
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Billable credit for commuting

likesmartupliftinghelpfulfunny

A9 must be independently wealthy.

likefunny

During my associate years, the thing I hated more was the facetime. I wanted to finish by 5:30 or 6 pm and go home, but always felt like I had to stay longer because people were watching. I hated the charade and I’m not sure any incentive will change that culture that’s so deeply ingrained in the practice of law.

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I never understood why people assumed that when someone left the office they were leaving with unfinished work and judged them. Sometimes I like staying there until 6-7 to finish it all and be done for the day, but sometimes I just need a break consisting of a dog walk, a real dinner, and comfy clothes before I crank out the rest! Also, as a junior I sometimes just don’t have work! To sit in the office on those days is awful.

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Nothing. Leave me alone

likefunnyuplifting

I show up for social gatherings. Think happy hour, group breakfast or lunch. But there is a limit to how frequently I'm willing to do that. Basically I need to know that other people are going to be there to interact with or it's just a waste of time. We had coffee mess every Wednesday in law school. Law firms should adopt similar approaches to encouraging people to gather regularly.

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Amen, I can buy or make myself a better lunch at home.

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Are you my boss? If so let me tell you all the reasons for staying at home. 1. Staying at home is free. 2. I have the food I want at home. 3. I am in pajamas at home. 4. I can take a nap at home. 5. I can watch tv at home. 6. None of you is going to randomly show up at my house.

So like your best bet is allowing me to show up in sweat pants to food.

likefunnyuplifting

Yeah and when the doorman called to alert me of his presence, I would say I am not at home. Or I am at home but don’t let him up and I’ll make it worth it. 😂😂😂

funny

Money

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If I got paid enough to live close to the office, I’d come in every day.

likefunny

I wouldn’t mind going in once or twice a week if I knew I would be meeting with the teams I work with on billable stuff and a bit of socializing, so actually being productive with time in office that I can’t do from home. No thanks to going in just to sit in an office by myself. Also a waste of time to get ready and commute to do what I can do at home, except now I have to spend an extra two hours catching up on billing because of a change in scenery I didn’t need.

Also agree with P1. I’d want to flexibility to leave early so I can see my family without being judged for it. If I do good work and meet my billable req, then should be the end of it

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Uft, I had a long af response written and the app crashed. I second all of this! I’m a recent junior lateral and am going into the office because my partners are too. There’s something to be said for mentorship in person (and god help me if I have to review a survey with someone remote again). That being said, I love the hybrid model so that I can drive to the suburbs on a Thursday at 11am to avoid Friday traffic that exists all day in my city. Being able to do that discreetly and be out of pocket for an hour without having to walk out of the office midday and know that others are mentally writing you off would be great! It’s dumb but it’s a thing. But going into the office now when my partners aren’t and I lose two hours to commute and look nice now seems rather silly. I think a question for your firm is are the partners who are tied to associates going in as well?

Also, billable credit for commuting would be an AMAZING feature too that might help.

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What are you hoping to accomplish with having associates coming in person? I think any incentives need to drive whatever it is the firm wants to accomplish by having people in the office. In general I agree with P1—if I’m being honest, I really cannot stand having to do facetime for facetime’s sake. If someone wants to have a meaningful interaction with me regarding a work matter, or get to know me personally, then that’s entirely different. But just having me in the office to have me there, I’m not a huge fan, and nothing would incentivize me to do it.

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I need freedom - casual wear, no set days or hours to come in for, no mandatory social events. With freedom I flourish 🤸

likeupliftinghelpfulfunny

Free parking
Free lunch
The ability to come in at 12 or leave at 3

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Honestly, the random incentives the firm tried to use to try to get people to come into the office (lunch, gift card raffles, snacks, prizes, etc.) were considered pretty ridiculous, juvenile, and didn’t work at all.

Maybe if the firm treats everyone as professionals with the ability manage their own schedules, and meaningful in-person meetings as needed, the firm will have better luck.

likesmart

As a childless, single millennial, a doggy daycare stipend would be amazing.

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I worked for a tech company that allowed me to bring my dog to work and it was so wonderful. It gave me an excuse to take breaks an get up during the day to take him outside.

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From the outset I query why you would want your associates to return to the office. If they are happy WFH and are meeting or even exceeding their billables, don't go breaking something that isn't broken if you are going to project your own feelings, e.g. lonelineness. For the serious answer: I speak for myself only but new tech toys. New monitors. New keyboards. New mouse. New standing desk. I have a terrible setup at home. Sure, I can upgrade my setup on my own dime but if you pay for a much better one that I can't afford to on my own and I can only access in the office, that may sway me to come in every now and then. Also, free lunch and coffee would seal the deal. I know of firms which have permanent catering staff. My firm has saved so much money during this pandemic I am quite convinced they could afford this.

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Yes, those would be nice ! My chair is hilariously bad at work, and I even had office services help me find a newer one in there. I legit just slide out of it. That and my screens aren’t high enough because the desk is sort of low. The ability to not have to contort my body to work would definitely be a benefit.

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I think if attendance is flexible (you come in and leave when you want and are able to attend to "real life" things), it generally becomes much less of a chore. That is the case even if you are going to require a minimum amount of attendance over the course of the week.

Personally, I really appreciate a good office environment too. The most important part is a quiet, low stress atmosphere. If it's DEFCON 1 all the time then I'll never want to be there.

Perks like coffee, snacks and nice office space are basically a must, but I'd pretty much assume a firm is offering these.

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Yeah, making us pay for snacks is a huge turn off on top of the cost of parking. And no I won’t be taking public transport which would double or triple my commute time.

Have others just considered not coming in even if there’s a “3 days in the office” rule? Like are they going to fire an associate in this market?

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I would go into the office if you could promise me that I would only be bothered while I was there. I’m not being facetious. If you want me to not get the benefits of the fact that the world has changed since 1950, and you can find me anywhere in the world now, you need to also not get those benefits.

I go to the office from 9-6 and you leave me alone when I’m not there. I’ll stay late and come in on weekends for true emergencies because I’m not insane and we have obligations to our clients, but no more emailing me at 10pm because you can’t figure out how to find a phone number.

likefunny

Boundaries again. Like calls not usually starting until 9:30am or 10am and the work being mostly done by 7pm. There used to be a natural break in the day for commuting. Mentally it was a nice reset. If everybody could just agree to do that then as a trade off I’ll go back into the office.

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Lunches and dinners provided every day

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Yes definitely needs to be every day

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Paid car service to and from the office with no minimum hour requirement (my firm is very nit-picky that we only get a ride home if we work ten hours, but time square is legitimately dangerous now and ten hours is a long day even without a commute); healthy, real snacks; free lunch and dinner that I can choose (my firm chooses one place for dinner we order from each night now and they place the orders and I think it is absolutely ridiculous and insulting, I really want to eat healthy and Chinese doesn’t work for me). I would come in more than not if my firm offered those.

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