The Biglaw Agency That Ended The 5-Day, In-Workplace Work Week Declares 3 Obligatory In-Workplace Days

office welcome back signAgain in Might 2021, Ropes & Grey introduced its imaginative and prescient for a return to work for attorneys, in three phases, successfully ending Biglaw’s desire for associates to spend the majority of their time within the workplace. On the time, it was maybe one of the vital versatile post-pandemic reopening plans of all of them, and it got here from one of the vital profitable companies within the nation.

Since that point, the agency has applied two extra phases of its reopening plan, encouraging associates to spend one to 2 days within the workplace every week (which began in February), after which three days within the workplace every week (which began in March). Now, Ropes is shifting forward in its return-to-office plan by mandating that associates spend three in-office days per week.

Why’s that? Based on Julie Jones, the agency’s chair, it’s as a result of “[t]hose who don’t spend no less than three days every week within the workplace usually are not getting the total expertise of being a Ropes & Grey lawyer — whether or not it’s being mentored by a colleague, connecting and collaborating with groups, or turning into concerned in our bigger group.” Right here’s some further element from her memo:

We’ve been reflecting on the advantages of getting attorneys within the workplace no less than three days every week, and we’re seeing {that a} extra coordinated schedule, with most overlap amongst colleagues, is vital to creating the experiences that construct connections and ship on our educating and mentoring promise. With that in thoughts, beginning on October 3, we’re introducing required workplace “anchor days,” and designating Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as the times we might be within the workplace — collectively. After all, many people will proceed to be within the workplace past these days because of shopper or workforce wants or private desire. …

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday might be our anchor days as a result of they’re the times with the best stage of attendance over the past six months. We anticipate to see you in on these days, absent shopper and enterprise growth wants or occasional private conflicts that come up within the lives of all professionals. As all the time, we ask that professionalism and logic information our decision-making. As a world agency working in 13 places of work, we additionally notice that market-specific situations might drive variations infrequently.

This makes Ropes & Grey the most recent agency to mandate no less than three days spent within the workplace, and the associates we’ve heard from don’t sound too enthused about it. However, let’s keep in mind these strains from the memo Jones despatched out again in 2021 when talking concerning the agency’s reopening plans: “It doesn’t matter what section we’re in, we promote flexibility post-pandemic. We don’t anticipate that we’ll ever mandate a five-day every week in-office atmosphere.” We’ll reiterate this: Ropes shouldn’t be prone to require that attorneys spend 5 days within the workplace, and that’s nonetheless one thing to be celebrated.

Additionally recall that Ropes & Grey has two extra upcoming distant weeks for attorneys sooner or later: Thanksgiving week (November 21-23), and the Christmas vacation week (December 27-30).

Better of luck to everybody as they return to a extra common workplace life on the agency.

(Flip to the following web page to learn the Ropes & Grey memo in full.)

As quickly as you discover out about reopening plans at your agency, please electronic mail us (topic line: “[Firm Name] Workplace Reopening”) or textual content us at (646) 820-8477. We all the time preserve our sources on tales nameless. There’s no must ship a memo (if one exists) utilizing your agency electronic mail account; your private electronic mail account is ok. If a memo has been circulated, please you’ll want to embody it as proof; we wish to publish full memos as a service to our readers. You may take a photograph of the memo and fasten as an image if you’re fearful about metadata in a PDF or Phrase file. Thanks.

Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Regulation, the place she’s labored since 2011. She’d love to listen to from you, so please be at liberty to electronic mail her with any suggestions, questions, feedback, or critiques. You may observe her on Twitter or join together with her on LinkedIn.

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