The Great Return

At nQzw, we are all about building workflows that allow attorneys to have the same experience and deliver key information to attorneys and staff when they need it, wherever they are. As “wherever they are” is a moving target these days, we decided to help attorneys and legal professionals navigating this ever-changing landscape of in-and-out-office work.

We’ve aggregated firm policies in a single source where you can view the latest policies for AmLaw and Magic Circle firms that have made announcements.

Office Type
We’ll start with the firms’ philosophy about how they describe their approach to the Great Return:

  • Hybrid: split between remote and office
  • Hybrid, Remote: split, with more emphasis on remote
  • Office: primarily or exclusively in the office
  • Office: office first, but supporting some level of remote work
  • Remote: staying primarily remote
 
Days in the Office
One of the first things you notice is that it’s actually more informative to look at the Days in Office expectation, which really tells you the firm’s intention. The most common approach is to require 3 days/week, regardless of how they describe it.
 
Trend Over Time
Although the fourth wave of the pandemic has been pushing out the dates through necessity, the overall trend over time is an increase in the expectation for the number of days in the office per week, which is easy to see in the bar chart comparing the first phase to final phase of office re-opening.
 
Hybrid is Here to Stay
Only 3 of the 72 firms we’re tracking have announced plans to return fully to the office. The specifics vary, but the vast, vast majority of firms will continue hybrid with an expectation of 3 days in the office being the most common.
 
Vaccination Mandates
A significant majority of firms are now requiring vaccines (or in a few cases, negative tests as an alternative) to be in the office.
 
Work From Anywhere

We spent the pandemic helping firms go remote, and now we’re helping firms with the new Work From Anywhere reality. Somewhat ironically, the Great Return to the office is actually more challenging than the rushed move to remote. Attorneys and staff now expect to be able to Work THE SAME From Anywhere. See how we enable firms’ hybrid operations as part of their digitization strategy.

Updated September 19, 2021

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