It’s hard to imagine that, just a year ago, most firms were still trying to figure out their remote work plan and lawyers were adjusting to their new remote work life, all while grappling with the new realities of the pandemic and fear of the unknown. Fast-forward a year later, and the end of the pandemic is within grasp in the United States as approved vaccines have proven to be safe and effective.
Vaccinations are widely available here, and firms, like all other employers, are focusing on when and how to bring employees back to the office. Some firms have already started to bring people back in limited capacity or on a voluntary basis, while others have decided to remain fully remote indefinitely. These decisions have been further complicated by the fact that recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance provides that, with some minor exceptions, fully vaccinated folks can resume their pre-pandemic lives. At the same time, vaccine hesitancy in the United States is unfortunately still significant, and many employees are in no hurry to return to office life because of real concerns about health and safety, child care, transportation or simply just because they enjoy working from home more (particularly for younger lawyers, who are 29% less eager than their older counterparts to return to work, according to a Major, Lindsey & Africa survey).