Working from home is one of the perks of living in the Internet age. The downside is that work more easily intrudes into the rest of your life. But being chained to your BlackBerry is better than being chained to your office chair.
A partner in the Miami office of an AmLaw 50 firm doesn’t like the idea of his associates being out on the beach with their BlackBerrys, though. He wants them in the office. He wants to see their faces, and the only tan he wants to see on them is the kind from the office’s fluorescent lights.
This partner whom we are not outing from a firm that we are not naming gave a speech last week that left many of his associates even less excited about spending time at the office than before…
From a tipster:
I heard there was this outrageous litigation lunch in the Miami office of [REDACTED] in which the nominal head of the litigation group there (a real megalomaniac) began chastising everyone to bill more hours and making demands for more face time in the office. This guy has already driven off several mid levels with his antics.
Maybe there’s some love beneath this emotional abuse. He does want to spend more time with his associates, after all.
So why does the partner want to see Biglaw bodies in the office?
He flatly stated that he didn’t believe any associate who said that they did work from home, and that if they weren’t in the office, as far as he was concerned, they weren’t really working. And that if they aren’t really working, they aren’t any use to the firm.
Do you really need to see someone sitting at their computer to know that they’re working? Sometimes we’re sitting at our computers at the office, but we’re just playing Facebook’s Lexulous. Emails and memos exchanged seem like a better testament to work being performed.
To be fair to this face-wanting partner, we do know of a few associates for whom working from home means watching True Blood or playing Rock Band.
The good news is that this suggests that people are slacking and that this Miami office has work in need of doing. Alternatively, maybe associates aren’t billing because there is no work to be done. You can only reorganize the pleadings so many times.
We throw it to you. Has the working from home movement gone too far? Or has this partner been overly influenced by Dentyne ads?