This question was posted to the PLLIP MyCommunities page on January 26, 2022.
- Remote forever. The flexibility paired with increased productivity makes up for loss of in-person comradery and mentoring. While admittedly I’m a bit Zoom-weary, especially by Friday. I did visit the office a week ago, and the fluorescent lighting was so enervating and hurtful to my eyes…no way I will go back unless by command.
- Remote is right for me because I am allistic and ADHD and I have sensory processing challenges that create an energy drain when I have to work in an office. I am much more efficient and effective if I don’t have to expend energy unnecessarily on dealing with crowds, public transportation, traffic or driving, just to get to the beginning of my work day. Particularly when nothing I do requires me to be there in person, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve been working from home for the last 2 years without incident, it seems particularly insensitive to waste two hours of my day on moving from one location where I could do all of my work to another location where I can also do work but under much worse circumstances. For those wondering why it takes a two hour round trip to get to work, note that I would need a wealthy partner (or for Joe Biden to forgive all of my student loans) if I wanted to live on a librarians salary, in a one-bedroom apartment, closer than 30-60 minutes from the office. I am also excellent at creating and maintaining deep connections with people who I interact with online. This is also generally true of many other non-neurotypicals who, like me have difficulty processing verbal communication. It’s not impossible, it’s just a huge drain of my energy that could be better used for something else. A well written email is always going to be easier for me to understand than someone talking their words at me into the air. For me, working from home is a dream come true because now I can manage my energy levels better and avoid autistic burnout which takes a long time to recover from and demands complete rest in a room with no other people, no noise, and no light. In short, I take fewer sick days and I feel more positive towards my employer when I am allowed to work from home.
- My preference is to stay remote. I have a long commute and mostly take public transportation. During the pandemic transportation service had been reduced, and currently it remains reduced for lack of drivers. If I go into the office, my time is limited because of the reduced bus schedule, or I need to drive (which I prefer not to be on the roads with crazed, high speed, reckless drivers). Our team is very busy. Being at home I have plenty of work. I also have the flexibility to stay online and work late if I need to. Though being in the office is nice seeing people, I also find I get less research work completed when I go into the office.
- One person on my team would prefer to return full-time. The other 10 including myself would prefer hybrid, albeit a few of these are currently leaning more to remote until Omicron subsides.
- I’d like a primarily remote hybrid approach. I believe in the importance of maintaining some in-person connections that the office offers through some core office days (so maybe 4-8 days a month that brings teams into the office). In my experience, I do not feel that I have attorneys, paralegals, or other staff who stop by my office to speak to me in person. All my work is requested over the phone or by email at this point. The addition of my commuting time back to my life has been a true health reset and I work better and maintain better focus at home than I do in the office.
- Starting in November 2020, our research librarians are committed to having a minimum of 2 days in the office and 3 days working remotely. These 2 days are not flexible – you must commit to the same 2 days every week. Everyone seems good with this and some members of our team are going into the office more than 2 days. The goal for most of our offices is to make sure that at least 1 Librarian is on site every day (as much as possible) in order to retrieve that old book, etc. We went back to “remote only” in late December, and supposedly will be going back to the hybrid plan on Feb 22.
- There are many opinions on this topic and ideally, everyone would get the work arrangement that best suits their personal and professional circumstances. For me personally, a split of mostly remote, but occasional on-site work is ideal. Law firm and corporate professionals proved themselves reliable, diligent, and productive at home — not to mention comfortable. If they can do the job remotely, there’s not much benefit in asking them to drive to the city center to the same work unless we take advantage of the time to be collaborative. I want to see my team about 2-3 days per month and make the most of our opportunity to share a meal, conduct team meetings, and form convivial bonds.
- Personally, I find a hybrid situation where I’m in the office a couple of times a week, and the rest of the time working from home is the right mix for me. You get a chance to connect with colleagues and fellow staff and attorneys on a weekly basis, and still get a chance not to have to fight the long commute to/from the office on a weekly basis. The team I work with are all located in other states, so even when I was working in the office pre-COVID, I was connecting remotely with the team, vs. doing it in-person. I find the work/balance has gotten better for me using this hybrid model that I currently get to utilize at my firm.
- Hybrid is working well for me! I’m interested to know if anyone is working any innovative working patterns. We have been asked to return to the office 40-60% of our time. So for me that could be 3 days each week in the office, or one week in and one week at home. Interested if anyone has other patterns or ideas.