As the co-president and global chair of professional development at Greenberg Traurig, I work with, think about, and worry over associates and their development every day. Over the past several months of managing through a global pandemic, I’ve been impressed with how associates have stepped up. They’ve stayed productive and engaged; they have navigated working remotely while, in many cases, juggling an increased amount of stress and responsibility outside of work, including caring for and homeschooling young children, caring for and worrying about elderly parents and being isolated from their peers. Despite these challenges, most continue to press forward in their careers, focusing on their professional development and building substantive knowledge, while still giving their all to client projects and pro bono matters alike. We’ve all learned a lot during these times of remote working, as we bring our work into our homes and our homes into our work.
There has been a lot of discussion about the possibility that many attorneys and business staff in the legal profession may never fully return to the office. I am not sure any of us know yet how we will strike that balance in the future. Working remotely has some positives, including savings of associated time and costs. We’ve also learned a lot about the people we work with by scrutinizing what’s in the background during countless video conferences and watching interactions with their children or pets. There will surely be more opportunities for remote work. But for me and the people I want to see fully develop, I do not believe there is a substitute for the many benefits that come from working from work.
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