When we did our series of Vault 100 open threads in the summer, Biglaw insiders shared insights into office culture, with much touting of work perks at various firms. These days, attorneys can brag if their firms are not among those laying associates off.
Reuters reports on perk cutbacks in the finance world, such as the elimination of business-class travel and free sodas in the office fridge. On ATL, we reported in October that K&L Gates was eliminating ABA dues payments and switching to one-ply toilet paper. (This was followed by news this month of staff layoffs).
A tipster from Kirkland & Ellis tells us the New York office is downsizing breakfast:
i know this is a little obnoxious because lots of other firms don’t have breakfast at all, but we at kirkland ny are pretty proud of our breakfast spreads: tropicana if you get in early enough, bagels, fruit, yogurt, and fancy nature’s path cereals with flax and berries and stuff. so imagine our shock and horror when we saw this hidden away in the weekly memo:
NEW BREAKFAST MENU
Beginning November 17, the breakfast menu will be changed to fresh fruit and bagels. In order to make sure there is enough for all, additional numbers of each item will be provided. We may find that the ratio of bagels to fruit needs to be adjusted to best meet preferences. Please let Pam Grazia at extension 3179 know if that is the case in the pantry on your floor.
its not the loss of the yogurt and cereal, although that does hurt. its more the sneaky way it was hidden in the memo that nobody reads!
While firms are unlikely to cut back on big perks like parental leave, this is a time for tightening the belt in other areas. We say: Better the loss of the granola than the loss of the librarian.
Are you seeing perk erosion at your firm? What is being cut back? What should be cut back? (Our Kirkland tipster tells us NY associates still get the $350 office art budget.)