MoFo Associates, Are You At Work Yet? You So Better Be At Work Already!

Morrison Foerster logo.jpgThis morning (just after 8:00 a.m. EDT if you must know) Morrison Foerster associates received a whip-cracking message from the firm’s New York managing partner, Charles Kerr:

As we move into the summer, I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone about the expectations in this office about when the work day begins. We are, at core, a client service institution, both internally and externally. This means that is we need to plan our schedules to meet our clients’ needs and expectations. More importantly, the strength and value of our work depends on being able to communicate with and reply upon our colleagues and if folks are simply not around, that is harder to do. While I recognize that the changing face of our technology has allowed us to accomplish this in new and novel ways, it is still an important part of our business that each of us can depend upon and interact with our co-workers on a consistent basis.
In light of this, it is very important that folks get to work on time. If it was up to me, that would mean jumping jacks at 8:00 a.m. in the lobby. I am not sure, however, that I have convinced everyone that that is the right approach.

Wow. That sounds like a straight up “face time” directive, doesn’t it? Kerr acknowledges that “technology” allows people to accomplish many client service tasks from remote locations, but he would still like to see people hopping up and down in their offices bright and early.
But let’s say that you get to work at 8:00 a.m. Is there really anything more to be done other than jumping jacks (and reading ATL)? I imagine most associates show up at work as early as they have to in order to accomplish the day’s tasks. Is Kerr really suggesting that billable hours are being left on the table because some associates want to sleep in during the recession?
More from Kerr after the jump.

Here is what MoFo partners would like to see during the workday. Keep it in mind when it comes time for your performance review:

Our office’s work day does begin, however, no later than 9:30 a.m. each morning. Therefore, as a general matter, everyone should plan their early morning activities so that you are in the office ready to go at that time, i.e., rolling in at 10:00, 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. on a regular basis is not acceptable. I realize that there always exceptions and I respect that, as professionals, we are able to manage our own time. Therefore, I encourage each Department and Practice Group to address these issues to make sure that we are all working together to deliver our best work.

Again, this begs the question: “in the office and ready to go” do what?
Don’t get me wrong, 9:30 is a more than fair time to start any job. My day starts at 8:30. Kash’s day starts at dawn. Lat never sleeps. But aren’t young professionals more than capable of starting their day based on the work they have to do?
In my humble opinion, being able to tailor your own schedule around the work you have to do is one of those key things that separates man from drone. Being forced to sit at your desk for a required time, just on the off chance your boss comes by your desk on his way to the bathroom/luncheon/much better and more important life, is what makes people feel like Thomas Anderson in the Matrix.
Hey, maybe there is a rash of MoFo associates rolling in at 11:00. Maybe MoFo associates have mastered the art of sending around a BlackBerry message at 7:30 a.m., hitting the snooze button, and going back to bed until something actually happens. But it seems like the best way to correct that is to give people some actual work, not send around passive aggressive emails about jumping jacks.
Earlier: Cleary Partner Never Wants You To Be ‘Out-of-Office’

(hidden for your protection)

comments sponsored by

Show all comments