Over half of the legal profession would consider moving to another firm if their employer insists on making them come to the office, according to a poll of over 2,400 lawyers and law firm staff.
54% of respondents said they would think about leaving if their firm prevented them from working from home for most of the week. Earlier this month 5 out of 10 lawyers said they wanted to work from home for good.
Getting face-to-face again with colleagues and, to a lesser extent, clients, was by far the main attraction of returning to the office, according to two thirds of respondents. The "buzz of the office and absorbing what colleagues are working on" was important, but several picked out the social aspects, specifying after work drinks. Only two horndogs* honed in on "office romance" and "more opportunities for nooky".
14% said they were most looking forward to a break from home, and another 6% were keenest on the lack of distractions represented by a sealed, air-conditioned office bubble compared to the parade of housemates/tots/parents/partners and pets barging into their designated corner of the kitchen table.
But there was a lot of love for those same endless irritants. Longer hours away from home was the least popular aspect of returning to the office for 38% of respondents. Followed by the commute, which 35% of people said they were least looking forward to, for a combination of reasons including its cost, its length, the risk of infection and the unpleasantness of traffic jams and packed trains and tubes.
John's only condition for returning to the office was replicating his home work station.
Only 5% said they were most concerned about returning to the office because of the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace, with double that number more resentful about the prospect of dealing with colleagues and supervisors again.
As for what the legal profession will miss most about WFH: the commute, for over a third of lawyers. Closely followed by the flexibility WFH affords. The 1% of respondents either living with people they despise or tearing their hair out by themselves said they would miss nothing about WFH. "WFH is working from hell", said one respondent. "Please let me get back to the office", begged another.
But the fondest memory for 0.3% of respondents will be the permanent pyjama party. Like the lawyer who said they will miss "sitting around in my pants all day", and the partner who said they will miss "Seeing the missus in pants all day". Perhaps they are a (very happy) couple.
*Don't worry Graham Parnold and Paulette Finchamp, RollOnFriday takes its data protection responsibilities seriously and your responses will be kept anonymous.