Office lonely B

"But I enjoy having the office to myself on Fridays.


Freshfields is changing its agile working policy to require staff to spend the majority of their working week in the office. 

Last year, the Magic Circle firm announced that it would allow its employees to work remotely for up to 50% of the time. However, an insider told RollOnFriday that the firm will now “force fee-earners back into the office for a minimum of three days per week" from September. The source said the firm's decision was "on the basis there is not enough ‘buzz’ about the office” as many staff “continue to mainly choose to WFH”. 

Freshfields is amending its policy to state that partners, associates, and trainees (in London and Manchester) will be expected to work at least three days in the office, a week. The guidelines for business services will vary by team, depending on work needs. RollOnFriday understands that the remote policy is interim, so it could change again at some point in the future.

As a comparison with other Magic Circle firms, Linklaters and Clifford Chance allow a 50/50 split between the home and office. Whereas Freshfields' new approach will mirror the 40% remote working offered by Allen & Overy and Slaughter and May.

The thorny issue of pandemic work practices, has seen many lawyers' eyes open to the time-saving pleasures of commuting to their study, but has created a rift with others who believe that supervision, training and communication is better in person.

Earlier this year, Stephenson Harwood prompted fierce reactions when it offered staff to work from home 100% of the time for a 20% pay cut. One lawyer, typing from their study in pyjamas, said: "SH is out of touch. My billable hours have increased while working at home and saving time on a very long commute. I can balance commitments as a parent and often log on in the evening to get the work done".

A subsequent RollOnFriday poll of over 4,500 lawyers and law firm staff revealed that there was a huge preference towards WFH entirely, or for the majority of the week.

43.7% of respondents said their preference was to work from home every day, while 26.9% said they wanted to work from home for four days a week. The remainder voted as follows: 13.6% respondents wanted to work remotely for three days; 9.9% for two days; 3.8% for one day; while only 2% said they didn't want any remote working.  


Poll results


And early results in the RollOnFriday In-House Survey indicated that clients were happy for their lawyers to work from home, when it suited them.  

"It works for me, and it should work for them", said a senior in-house lawyer in the banking sector. "I totally agree that successful businesses require some face-to-face with your colleagues, to build relationships, learn", and carry out business development. "But I would also rather know my work was being done by a lawyer who is supported to work in a way that suits them and me. I won't always be in my office and I wouldn't expect any lawyer working for me to be forced to be in theirs".

However, a General Counsel for a real estate business still valued the importance of seeing their lawyers. "Working from home is fine on a limited basis but it does impact when we're trying to convene an urgent call - it always gives the impression of encroachment upon outside life," said the GC. "Also we like meeting our lawyers and talking things through face to face. It’s infinitely more productive."

And another downside to homeworking is that some lawyers believe it has led to longer and unpredictable hours, with "no off switch."

"Working from home has resulted in clients and other lawyers deciding that the working day is every hour of every day", said one City lawyer. "We're not doing more work, but we're constantly on call and I can't leave my laptop."  Another solicitor said that a knock-on effect of WFH was "a creeping expectation" to "respond to emails on your annual leave".  

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Comments

Wayward Lawyer 12 August 22 09:17

SH associate will "often log on in the evening to get work done" - what a fantastic display of selflessness, thinks associate of US firm pulling 16 hour days in the office. 

Anonymous 12 August 22 09:26

What a great way of ensuring your staff really don't want to spend time with the partners.  Bet the "buzz" disappears altogether now.

Bob 12 August 22 09:29

What's important is not the policy but enforcement. In my team at CC, it is 50/50 - but it isn't enforced, so many people are hardly every in the office. Some I doubt do two days a month!

Anonymous 12 August 22 09:31

Freshfields don't have a Manchester office.  It's actually in Salford.  Salford isn't a dirty word, Blackadder.  Crevice is a dirty word, but Salford isn't.

Anonymous 12 August 22 09:32

All amazed that firm paying near useless NQ's over £125k has expectation that it can mandate particular working practices for them. Gasps of amazement emanating from London audible in Uzbekistan.

 

"But I self-identify as an amazing lawyer who is super-duper efficient when I work at home in my PJ's! How dare my dinosaur bosses imagine that they can tell me anything!"

Spoiler: this is what the money buys them.

Anonymous 12 August 22 09:34

@Wayward: The vast majority of people who spend long hours in the office are not productive the whole time, so the comparison is meaningless.  If you want to work back, get your dinner and cab home paid for rather than having to do the crush commute and funding your own meals, that hardly makes you a hero.

Mark 12 August 22 09:37

The best performing firms will be the ones with people working together in person cohesively and collaboratively.  You can get by working from home during a pandemic and do your day job/log the hours, but that isn't a long term recipe for success.  Lawyers are not software developers.

DJcornflake 12 August 22 09:52

It’s fine for mid levels and up to work regularly from home because we know how to work, performance expectations.  The problem is trainees/very juniors that have never worked in an office environment.  They’ve missed out on significant training and you can see it — professionalism, drafting, responsiveness etc.  the associates that went through the pandemic as trainees are particular problems; their development is way behind. 

Anonymous 12 August 22 09:55

Come to Keystone. It's very friendly here and you can work wherever you like - including in the office in Chancery Lane 5 days a week with your own dedicated desk if you want, or 100% at home or a combination of the two, or Tanzania, or Lanzarote. And keep most of what you bill. No-one forces you to work anywhere or with anyone you don't want to, but fortunately the kind of people who would try to insist you work in the office wouldn't come to Keystone anyway; Keystone's a place where you work kindly and respectfully with your colleagues to get on (and that's not how those kind of people roll).

Anon in HR 12 August 22 09:56

There's a big mental health and wellbeing issue. People are lonely and feel disconnected. It's especially tough for people who move jobs - takes much longer to really make connections in a new firm when you see people so much less.

Bob 12 August 22 09:58

The world has changed and the legal sector needs to wake up to that rather than senior old fashioned partners thinking the can put the genie back in the bottle. speaks more to being a control freak rather than a good team leader who empowers.

Working from home is more productive and that is quantifiable across multiple sectors. There is an argument to be had re trainees and juniors - their needs and expectations are different and not sure we have seen a sensible position to date.

 

Anonymous 12 August 22 09:58

@Mark.  You may want to join us in the 21st century.  It's entirely possible to work collaboratively wherever you are.

Anonymous 12 August 22 10:05

"The vast majority of people who spend long hours in the office are not productive the whole time, so the comparison is meaningless."

Which of course is why fully remote firms annihilated their office-based competitors in the mid 2000's and the so-called Magic Circle are all budget insurance litigation firms these days, with clients regularly paying top dollar for firms that don't even have physical offices in London anymore because what would be the point of them anyway?

 

Oh, no, wait... that's not true at all. It turns out that all of the world's most successful law firms got there and stayed there by way of a culture of people coming into the office and putting in big shifts while they were there.

But whatever, I'm sure that people on online comment boards know better and we'll soon see Freshfields et al tumble down the rankings as 'fully remote' firms blaze past them, powered by the mighty endeavours of the kind of person who is just certain they're at their best when sat on the sofa at home without anyone with any experience around to supervise them.

Any day now.

Anonymous 12 August 22 10:07

I assume those presenteeists claiming that you have to be in the same building to be able to collaborate don't do any kind of cross-border work, and always go into the offices of their colleagues in other departments rather than phoning or emailing them.

Anonymous 12 August 22 10:08

"Working from home is more productive and that is quantifiable across multiple sectors."

Never you fret.

This being such an objective fact, there's no need to keep shrilly insisting on it on online message boards.

By this time next year you'll be proven right. Freshfields PEP will be in the gutter and we'll all be reading articles about, um, I don't know, Keystone's NQ salaries blazing past the £300k mark.

Because they'll all just be so much more productive at home. Quantifiably so. Clients will jump ship in their thousands because the World Has Changed.

 

 

Facts will bear you out. I'm sure.

Anonymous 12 August 22 10:08

Er, no HR person.  Some people feel lonely and disconnected.  Apparently, its the partners in the case of FF.

Dark knight 12 August 22 10:09

Knights say it’s ‘too soon’ to say anything about wfh… after, they said 40% at home shortly followed my 100% in the office. It’s now so confused but most people do what they want a try to be around when the CSD shows up

struandirk 12 August 22 10:09

It's basically what Djcornflake said - clients (mostly) don't care and most legal work (other than court etc) can easily be done from home. It's also great for anyone who is more than about 3 PQE and can do their work without handholding (even more so if you've got kids). But it's not good - more like terrible - for trainees and juniors who don't get the training and exposure their seniors got and are far less capable. And it's not good for the organization for the same reason - to have trainees and juniors who are far less capable than they should be, which means more work falls on the senior associates

Anonymous 12 August 22 10:11

Strawman, @10:05.  The comment was in response to a discussion about people who work from home in the evenings only, not fully remote.  If you need to invent extreme scenarios to make your point, you have lost the argument.  Or you work in HR or PR.

Anon 12 August 22 10:13

1. As a general point, the comment seems to be that we're mandating more days in the office because people aren't doing what they're meant to be doing now.  Well that's a management/ enforcement problem, not a policy problem - if you can't make them come in 5 days in 10 why do you think you'll be able to get them in 3 days in 5?

2. @Wayward - that's cool, given that NQs at US firms are taking home £160k, its probably safe to assume that they are getting paid more than any associate/ senior associate/ counsel at SH - you aren't getting paid that because you're wonderfully bright and better lawyers than everyone - you're getting paid that to work work work, so cry me a river!

Raymond 12 August 22 10:15

As people have pointed out, WFH harms the juniors the most.  Juniors should therefore be in the office a reasonable proportion of the time.  Of course, that only holds benefit if there are more senior associates/partners who show up to supervise and train them.  Those that do should be suitably remunerated.

Anonymous 12 August 22 10:21

It’s all very well saying the trainees need to go into the office but if no one is there what are they learning?

Anon 12 August 22 10:30

“Working from home is fine on a limited basis but it does impact when we're trying to convene an urgent call - it always gives the impression of encroachment upon outside life” - GC of client. 
 

Encroachment on outside life?  Not sure I saw too many clients complaining about the utterly brutal working hours at FF and other large firm by their lawyers when everyone was routinely in the office pre covid - changing instructions at last minute, expecting work done overnight, etc etc.  so that associates would have every meal in the office and charge it to the client  

Not many concerns then about “encroaching on outside life” were there?

BB 12 August 22 11:17

I can’t see how if everyone is wfh where the next generation of partners comes from. Data sheets tell just one side of the promotion story and often the “how do I feel about this person” has as much influence as the financial performance of an associate on whether they make the cut. If they are not being seen and heard by those who make the decisions how can the process continue in its current form? 

On the other hand the leverage models in law firms has been long overdue an overhaul and maybe this could be a way to reduce the partner numbers thus increasing pep/availability of cash for higher salaries of more junior lawyers or just maybe more realistic fees to us.  Law firm management are not good at future gazing but it feels like we are on the cusp of some major change if we want it. Rather than worrying about 2 days in or 3 days in why not change the way the business of law is practiced and at the same time hopefully deliver those of us who are clients a more fulfilling client/supplier relationship.

Anon 12 August 22 11:24

Come the winter (fuel costs) we will all be in the office and this debate will be over. 

Orwell 12 August 22 11:41

Data sheets tell just one side of the promotion story and often the “how do I feel about this person” has as much influence as the financial performance of an associate on whether they make the cut

If you are WFH in such a way that the only way your colleagues know you exist is via your data, then yes that's an issue.  There is absolutely no reason why you can't build an incredibly strong personal profile WFH.  Those of us in international roles have to do that, and I was promoted on the basis of feedback largely from a group of people I've never met in the flesh.

That's not to say that WFH all the time is good for everyone, but those decrying it as somehow being the death of profile building, collaboration or even the ability to supervise clearly aren't doing it right, or just want to bully everyone into working the way they prefer.

papercuts 12 August 22 11:45

None of the purported justifications withstand even a cursory scrutiny:

"the firm's decision was "on the basis there is not enough ‘buzz’ about the office” 

Buzz?!  We need to spend millions on obsolete offices for - "the buzz"?  "Buzz" = distraction.  What lawyers need above all is long periods of quiet time.  

"others who believe that supervision, training and communication is better in person."

Something badly wrong is an experienced fee-earner needs to be "supervised and trained".  Many senior lawyers are subject matter experts, ffs.  They could train you.  

"Also we like meeting our lawyers and talking things through face to face. It’s infinitely more productive."

No it is not.  And, in any event, you can meet them face to face anywhere.  If you really haven't got the hang of Teams yet, the f2f meeting can be done in the client's office.  Does not justify an office for senior lawyers.

See my blog on this realtor-led, managerialist nonsense: https://ayenaw.com/2022/06/27/cults-i/

Anonymous 12 August 22 11:46

Keystone: I am on a deal opposite Keystone....I see poor responsiveness, with me needing to chase all the time - its probably that the lawyer is WFH in Lanzarote and is too busy with the local wildlife.

Anonymous 12 August 22 11:52

Keystone: I am on a deal opposite Keystone....I see poor responsiveness, with me needing to chase all the time - its probably that the lawyer is WFH in Lanzarote and is too busy with the local wildlife.

Eggery 12 August 22 12:33

This wouldn’t happen to be the same Freshfields which has just moved to 100 Bishopsgate on a 20 year lease?

Only Dolly Parton worked 9 to 5 12 August 22 12:42

>"Working from home has resulted in clients and other lawyers deciding that the working day is every hour of every day", said one City lawyer. "We're not doing more work, but we're constantly on call and I can't leave my laptop."

I just don't understand this kind of thinking. My clients have always decided I am available 24/7, and one had the habit of calling me Sunday 8 o'clock in the morning. Others were calling me during my train journey, but you cannot discuss confidential matters on the phone while in direct and unpleasant body contact with 10 other commuters. One particular client I suspected did this hoping I would forget to bill for the time. These days they still call whenever they feel like it but at least I am not in a crowd.

Candle in the wind 12 August 22 13:06

@BB 12 August 22 11:17

The next generation of partners is fine.  Covid/WFH has led to clients needing to have a much clearer view of subsidiarity, i.e. the right level to raise particular points.  Some partners - life’s blaggers - manage to pretend to be over it all thanks to teams chats and general bs qualities.  But I have seen several instances, all at MC firms, where the change in work has shone bright lights on the difference between having big dreams (Kewley at CC formerly FBD, for example) and actually doing the work (any FBD tax partner).

Orwell 12 August 22 13:12

I'm sure that those things are completely unrelated Eggery.  And there's absolutely no chance that firms talking about needing to have people in to promote "buzz" and "collaboration" will suddenly change their mind after they've exercised break clauses and downsized premises.

Anon 12 August 22 13:48

Similar message is filtering down through the ranks at Addleshaws: "be in the office more often than not".

For me, that means getting up at 5am, wasting an hour commuting in, sitting in a meeting room by myself on Teams calls for most of the day, wearing ANC headphones whenever at my desk while the rest of the office babbles away on Teams, wasting an hour and a quarter commuting back, spending fifteen minutes with my young child before bedtime, and then logging on until 11pm to do the work that was waylaid by office distractions.  

It's not a way of life I'm willing to sustain, just to create some 'buzz' in the office, which I cannot hear anyway through the headphones, or satisfy the whims of micromanagers and compulsive extroverts.

Coupled with below expectation pay rises, it will produce only one outcome.

Anonymous 12 August 22 14:43

"For me, that means getting up at 5am, wasting an hour commuting in"

Assuming that you take a generous hour to bathe and attire yourself... doesn't that mean that you're at your desk for 7am each day?

What on earth are you doing? 

 

I don't think that your employer is the problem here.

FBD tax partner 12 August 22 15:55

"Candle in the wind 12 August 22 13:06

@BB 12 August 22 11:17

The next generation of partners is fine.  Covid/WFH has led to clients needing to have a much clearer view of subsidiarity, i.e. the right level to raise particular points.  Some partners - life’s blaggers - manage to pretend to be over it all thanks to teams chats and general bs qualities.  But I have seen several instances, all at MC firms, where the change in work has shone bright lights on the difference between having big dreams (Kewley at CC formerly FBD, for example) and actually doing the work (any FBD tax partner)."

 

Can't quite tell if you're saying FBD tax partners actually do the work or don't do the work (or have big dreams). I have big dreams though. Last night I dreamt I ate a giant marshmallow.

Anon 12 August 22 16:26

"...doesn't that mean that you're at your desk for 7am each day? What on earth are you doing?"

 

Yeah, so that's basically me in the photo at the beginning of the article.  Try it - you might like it.

Eggery 12 August 22 16:34

In the near future there will be two types of law firm: those which insist on presence and those which don’t. People will vote with their feet. 

Anonymous 12 August 22 19:18

This is nonsense perpetuated by partners who enjoy having their employees pander to them in the office so they can feel powerful. 

@ DJcornflake 12 August 22 20:15

The problem with that is that if all the experienced people who can WFH do WFH, those underdeveloped juniors still won’t learn.

Messi 13 August 22 06:51

It’s an easy solution. Don’t recruit people who do not know what they are doing, don’t waste time with trainees who rarely stay, let everyone work from home to save a fortune on rent and spend some of that money saved on recruiting decent 3 years pqe people. 
really getting bored of hearing ‘the buzz and banter of the office’. Get real. 90% of you lot are boring and don’t have an ounce of banter. I get more enjoyment talking to my neighbours cat. Also, if you get lonely at home then that says more about you - get a life or some mates. 

Goethe Cash 13 August 22 09:53

People now do entire university degrees remotely. The idea that smart juniors need to hang out in person with dreadful old farts to “learn” anything is self-serving nonsense. Microsoft Teams is all the proof you need. Of course, practitioners of a certain age may well be intimated by such new-fangled technology.

Orwell 13 August 22 12:16

The problem with that is that if all the experienced people who can WFH do WFH, those underdeveloped juniors still won’t learn.

Only if experienced supervisors fail to learn how to supervise remotely.  It is entirely possible.  I've had three trainees get top marks in their seats working with me 100% remotely, and all of whom have asked me to continue to mentor them.

The office is boring 13 August 22 22:28

It’s a well known fact across all industries that people want personal time with loved ones. They don’t want ‘buzz’, face time with colleagues or talk about weekend nonsense. Nor do they want to pay overpriced amounts for lunch or coffee in the city. Flex work is here to stay. If your firm are not offering you what you want then quit and find it elsewhere. Simples. 

Messi 14 August 22 15:03

3 year pqe people are everywhere, you just need to look. Pay them an extra £5000 on what they are getting elsewhere and you will keep them forever. They will bill whatever you want and they won’t need partners time to be supervised. The days of sitting down and holding peoples hands are gone due to fees. Trainees have become useless anyway, they don’t have any initiative and think they should be working 9-5 in a corner office with a secretary. The are to busy wanting to be Harvey Spector. The industry has changed. Either accept it or go and be a uni lecturer. Can’t wait for all the snowflakes to give it the thumbs down :)

Anonymous 14 August 22 19:19

Some people don't like working at home 

Some people don't like working in offices 

Some people like doing a mix 

How about you pick a firm that works for you and stop trying to make everyone agree with you?

Disgruntled 15 August 22 08:00

Only a matter of time before they start blaring 'Muse - Compliance' through the office sound system...

deltabravo 15 August 22 08:52

The problem with that is that if all the experienced people who can WFH do WFH, those underdeveloped juniors still won’t learn.
 

Why would one of these experienced people be any better at teaching in an office than via the myriad of collaboration tools that are available? Oh yes, ‘learning by osmosis’ aka not being properly trained. 

The only bar to juniors learning remotely is the unwillingness/inability of seniors to adapt to a new style of supervision.

The legal profession needs to be much better at ‘training the trainers’ rather than expecting people to be natural teachers just because they’ve been doing the job for X years.

Anonymous 15 August 22 15:07

So now UK firms are offering less pay and also less flexibility than US counterparts? Good luck holding on to any of your employees… 

Buzz words 15 August 22 20:50

Sad control freaks who crave absolute control demand that workers attend the office to get the vibe/buzz/[email protected] back.  
The top and bottom of it is that those without fee earning responsibilities need the office because they need to justify their existences.  
These expensive senior managers (cash extracting vampires) aren’t really needed and they know it.  
They will fight progress every step of the way.

Avoid them. 

 

 

 

Anonymous 16 August 22 06:16

I might regret this but can I wade in on this as a paralegal.

It’s so much easier to ask a question or learn in person. Teams is great and has a purpose but there is nothing like being face to face hearing your colleagues on the phone and how they interact with each other.

I’m also a people person so sitting on my own at home is not great! I like to go in 50/50. But sometimes it will just be me sat there in the office and I’ll wonder why I bothered! But surely 50/50 is about the right balance.

I work for a regional firm so don’t get paid big bucks, but also have more flexibility. I think if I was qualified and decided to go and work in London I would be expecting for the demands, pace and work ethic to be more challenging.

Anonymous 16 August 22 07:19

I have no problem with employees required to be in the office X days per week. But can leaders please stop behaving as though employees are doing something wrong when WFH and that presenteeism is what they should be striving for.

At my firm, I’ve been told I should be in the office 5 days a week to stand out when it’s time for a promotion. There’s a certain personality type that ends up coming into the office 5 days a week for this reason (and so they can get drunk together afterward), and the negative impact on our culture is clear.

In effect, there’s now a socially dominant boys club on their “5 days a week grind” (their words, not mine). I can’t see how this environment bodes well for productivity or for diversity and inclusion efforts.

Albatross 16 August 22 15:20

Big shiny expensive offices.

Barely anybody in them, exposing the folly of big shiny expensive offices.

Forcing people to come in leads to them leaving the business so there’s even fewer people in the big shiny expensive offices.  

What a mess.  Tut tut. 

 

Anonymous 16 August 22 16:19

It’s so much easier to ask a question or learn in person...I’m also a people person so sitting on my own at home is not great!

So what that means is that you're an extrovert and the previous way of working suited you best.  It doesn't mean its the best way of working for everyone.

For years, the system was geared to work best for extroverts.  That balance has shifted.  It might mean you have to learn different ways of working to accommodate your colleagues - and now you might understand how much they had to adapt to you in the past.

But don't for a second kid yourself that the partners are insisting on presenteeism because they want to make it easier for people like you.  This is about them feeling they are losing money on the investment on an expensive lease.

Internationalist 17 August 22 14:57

I find all this handwringing about time in the office and creating a buzz odd.  

I work in a very international area and will often be the only person in the London office on a case team.  I've been remote from most of my team for years.  It didn't matter whether I was physically in the London office, my home office or a random meeting room.  IMO it is quite hard to work with people you have never met in person at all.  But once you have met people working remotely works brilliantly.  So the answer is to have regular internal conferences/jollies/socials so people get to know one another properly and can then carry that bond into their team working, then wfh.

Disgruntled SA 18 August 22 09:35

My firm is in the same mess and Freshfields. Signed up to a long lease of a shiny new office at the start of the pandemic and are now installing motion sensors below desks and using all manner of soft pressure tactics to get the proles back to the office despite having two of the best financial years in recent times over the pandemic when everyone was WFH.

The inconsistencies of narratives is staggering with some partners having relocated overseas but still running London centric practices yet pressuring staff to come back whereas others who push their green Practice and bd garbage all over LinkedIn are quite happy to use natural resources to get their sorry asses into the city when they could easily WFH all because they need to toe the line for management.

utterly depressing.

Anonymous 18 August 22 10:11

"For years, the system was geared to work best for extroverts.  That balance has shifted.  It might mean you have to learn different ways of working to accommodate your colleagues - and now you might understand how much they had to adapt to you in the past."

Yeah, like, that might happen I guess - that or you weird grumpy shut-ins will just moan for a couple of years* before everything goes back to the way that actually works for the majority of people.

In the meantime I suppose we'd all just have to endure your ostrich-routine as you blindly insist that juniors can learn everything from their remote bedsits (and 'tech' will cure everything, because it's people not using the tech right who are the problem... not the underlying and unavoidable difficulty of trying to run a team who are all miles apart) and that there's no perceptible benefit to be had from people who work as a team actually meeting and knowing one another.

Y'know. One of the two...

 

 

*Why should this year be any different, after all.

Anonymous 18 August 22 14:44

@Anonymous 16 August 22 06:16

>It’s so much easier to ask a question or learn in person. Teams is great and has a purpose but there is nothing like being face to face hearing your colleagues on the phone and how they interact with each other.

I am a senior and a part of my duties is to train people. And doing it remotely is no problem. First off I told them to call me at any time they need help, getting that threshold down is important. My clients call me all times of the day so there is no reason to offer less service to people I have to train. After all, they are supposed to replace me one day. I certainly do not want to see my juniors in headlines such as those we see so often on ROL.

Some prefer the phone, others use Teams, with or without video, that is fine with me. When I call them, I always use Teams with video. I must admit that if they don't turn on the camera, I wonder if they are in the PJ, but that doesn't really matter. Training with Teams is in many ways better than the old fashioned way since you can both work on the same document in real time. That is more direct, faster and unambiguous, all while you don't have to stand too closely to people. The gentleman who trained me tended to stand a wee bit too close, and female colleagues were not entirely comfortable. It never occurred to him that his good intentions led to negative perception. With Teams there is no such intrusion into the personal space of others. 

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