When it comes to working from home, the technology isn’t the hard part (everyone knows how to display an island background behind them on Zoom, duh!). For attorneys, the struggle has been staying in touch with co-workers, especially pertaining to supervisor-employee relationships.
- People aren’t picking up the phone: A survey of 300 attorneys by The Red Bee Group showed that 26 percent of respondents had not participated in an employer-led conference call or video call since beginning to work remotely. Only half had received check-in phone calls from supervisors.
- The struggle is real: On the surface, no calls with the boss or (sometimes annoying) co-workers may seem like heaven. IRL meetings are the worst. But Zoom get-togethers and phone calls, regardless of the topic, have replaced the water cooler and coffee break banter that keep us focused throughout the day.
The key for maintaining work relationships
Discussing the survey results, Roberta Liebenberg, a principal at Red Bee and a senior partner at Fine, Kaplan and Black in Philadelphia, told Law.com that employers and attorneys “are going to need to communicate in a way they are not really used to,” with more empathy and in a more personal fashion.
Get creative with ways to stay in touch with your co-workers. Virtual happy hours are easy to schedule. And one firm in Boston, Foley Hoag, has started an in-house newsletter where attorneys share pictures of pets, kids and workspaces once a week.