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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

HOMEWORK - There once was a time, not so long ago, that commuting to and from an office served as a sort of dividing line between one’s home life and one’s work life. But the pandemic welded those two lives together and it’s going take a lot more than a train ride or a traffic jam to rebuild the boundaries between them. The success of remote work means the proverbial toothpaste is out of the tube (and probably the literal toothpaste too if you have little kids at home while you’re on Zoom calls all day). As Law.com’s Patrick Smith reports, firms are struggling to figure out how to bring burnt-out lawyers and staff back to the office while also giving them the flexibility to work remotely and also trying to reestablish some semblance of the work-life balance that has been obliterated over the past year. Barbara Duffy, president of West Coast firm Lane Powell, told Smith the “wear and tear” on her firm’s workforce after a year-plus of remote work is apparent, but the potential draws of coming back to the office have been muted by the effects of the pandemic as well. “You have to shut your door in your office if you don’t want to wear a mask,” she said. “And the downtown areas where our offices are have been battered. They aren’t so inviting right now.”