I’ve heard of companies “green-washing” talking a good game about their work on climate change while also continuing to be a large contributor to it, but in the area of wellbeing, this was a new one. Except, it isn’t a new idea. This study asked employees at UK companies if the public statements about mental health and employee support match what is happening within the company itself. Many said that the public supportiveness did not match the internal work culture. That’s not anything new. I think we have all worked somewhere or have heard plenty of stories about workplaces where the public face of the company or even the internal HR face talks quite a lot about how much they focus on employee wellness but apparently, no one told the middle managers about it.
We all started somewhere. We all started in some entry-level jobs. We all learned and grew. Good workplaces develop their entry-level people, turning them into experts. It would be a shame to spend all that time developing people and then losing them because you never gave them the same respect they would immediately get by going somewhere else. Somewhere that never knew them when they were in an entry-level position.
The people who worked to learn and build their knowledge and skills deserve better.
Law firms are an attractive target because of the data, but also because it might be easier to breach a firm than it would be to hack the clients they represent. As the rest of the article goes on to describe, there are still too many firms without cybersecurity training, proper policies, or incident response plans. That is not going to keep things secure.
On top of that, as I’ve written before, the whole culture in firms is a problem. Anytime you have a large group of people in charge, (partners), who are often not to be questioned, social engineering gets a whole lot easier, and the likelihood that even some policy that exists might get ignored is pretty high.
What I am also interested in though, is whether any other staff positions were given the same consideration. If the lawyer can work from anywhere, and the impetus is to attract the best lawyers that they can, there’s no reason the same thing can’t be said about many of the other (granted not all), of the staff positions, right? If the lawyers aren’t coming to the office, why do paralegals, assistants, IT, Accounting, etc. need to?
Does Quinn Emanuel value those folks, and want the top talent at those positions too?
Look at it this way, if you’re a client of one of these companies, who do you want doing your work, the associate who hasn’t slept more than 4 hours a night in weeks, or someone who’s actually rested? Who is going to do a better job for you? Who is going to be most cognitively effective?
Why do we keep grinding away at the expense of our own cognitive abilities then?
So, if you are a firm with Morgan Stanley as a client, maybe the easy thing is to just say “hey, our huge client wants us back in the office and wants to have in-person meetings, so you’ve got to come back”.
But it’s never really that simple, is it? What do you do if your staff and lawyers really don’t want to be in the office full-time? What if some of the same people who first attracted Morgan Stanley to your firm are willing to leave to work at a firm that is more flexible?
Now that you are only recruiting among the legal folks who want to be in the office five days a week, is your talent up to snuff to keep Morgan Stanley as a client?