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Working from home policies


groovy1363
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groovy1363
  • Law Student

Did your firms (any size) give you any updates on what the working from home policy will be whenever this pandemic ends? I'd be curious to know which firms will be more flexible.

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Ours is still trying to figure it out, but if I had to guess I would say it's likely to be something like "associates required to be in person X days per week/month; if an associate is not in office at least Y days per week they don't get a permanent office and instead participate in hotelling". But that's just a guess.

I have heard about one firm that is apparently going to require associates to be in the office 4 days a week, which I found very surprising because that's not the vibe I get from my firm.

Interesting/related, I have heard rumblings that my firm is changing their meeting protocols - it sounds like you're going to have the option to voluntarily disclose your vaccine status (show your second receipt over zoom 14+ days after your second dose; firm keeps no copy of your health records), or you'll be required to take a rapid covid test before the meeting you're trying to attend. Sounds like masks will then be optional in meetings although people will still be 6 feet apart.

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We already went from individual offices to shared space, so that's not a return issue for us. But we were told this week that we'll be expected in the office 65-70% of the time post-pandemic. So I guess 3-4 days a week, though I don't really foresee anyone babysitting people on this.

We're working on how we'll deal with masks and distancing right now, which is made tricky by the fact that each province and even each city has their own rules right now. We don't really want to be in the position of distinguishing based on vaccination status, or policing people about that, so we'll probably just wait for more in person meetings until the restrictions are more relaxed.

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Pantalaimon
  • Articling Student

Same deal here, associates & assistants are expected to be in the office 3-4 days a week, students 4 days a week. Starting in September.

It's unlikely you'll get specific firm names in this forum.

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1 hour ago, Pantalaimon said:

Same deal here, associates & assistants are expected to be in the office 3-4 days a week, students 4 days a week. Starting in September.

It's unlikely you'll get specific firm names in this forum.

Whoa Sept. seems so soon. My firm hasn't announced their policy yet but I didn't get the sense they would REQUIRE anyone to be in person before January.

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PePeHalpert
  • Lawyer

2-3 days per week in the office unless your job function requires full time attendance.  Office opening is TBD but likely to be sometime in the fall if trends continue. 

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Pantalaimon
  • Articling Student
35 minutes ago, KOMODO said:

Whoa Sept. seems so soon. My firm hasn't announced their policy yet but I didn't get the sense they would REQUIRE anyone to be in person before January.

I should mention that I'm in Calgary, which lifted all public health restrictions on July 1st and seems to have adopted a strategy of willing the pandemic out of existence. My firm has offices in Toronto and I would be surprised if their schedule is in lockstep with ours.

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1 hour ago, KOMODO said:

Whoa Sept. seems so soon. My firm hasn't announced their policy yet but I didn't get the sense they would REQUIRE anyone to be in person before January.

Everything will be voluntary for us at the start. We'll want to see how things go with stuff like elevator capacity, food courts etc. being open, whether people feel comfortable on the subway, etc. with volunteers before we force everyone back.

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1 minute ago, Jaggers said:

Everything will be voluntary for us at the start. We'll want to see how things go with stuff like elevator capacity, food courts etc. being open, whether people feel comfortable on the subway, etc. with volunteers before we force everyone back.

Makes sense. Plus I think lots of people want to see how things go in the fall when cases typically rise - hopefully employers/firms won't require attendance if case numbers explode again, I think all the plans assume that cases (or at least hospitalizations) stay relatively low through the fall.

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3 hours ago, KOMODO said:

Makes sense. Plus I think lots of people want to see how things go in the fall when cases typically rise - hopefully employers/firms won't require attendance if case numbers explode again, I think all the plans assume that cases (or at least hospitalizations) stay relatively low through the fall.

That is exactly what we're watching the US, UK and Israel to figure out, to see if we have to back off our plans.

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TheCryptozoologist
  • Articling Student

Does anyone have any insight into how Court procedures are adjusting? Are they finally going to embrace the 21st Century permanently? Or are COVID measures just interim? I'd be very interested to hear whether or if they are continuing with their technology reforms, even things beyond COVID measures. 

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canuckfanatic
  • Articling Student

I was asked whether I would like to work from home and, if so, how many days a week I would want to be in the office. I said I'd probably want to work from home 3-4 days per week, so they then asked if I'd be okay with sharing a desk on the days I'm in the office.

I was asked all this back in April, but there's been no word on an actual policy yet. Though my office is going to be heavily rearranged/renovated at some point so they'll probably implement the new policy at the same time.

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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer

I expect the courts will go back to primarily in person. Brief chambers matters might continue to be heard by phone and zoom hearings will likely replace the old phone-in systems when necessary, but I suspect anything taking up more than half a day will be in person. 

The place you’re more likely to see lasting change is ADR. The big firms will likely still want mediation and arbitration to take place in person, but if smaller firms can cut costs by having zoom med/arb, why wouldn’t they? 

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