Community Perspectives: Would you take an in-house offer that mandates working in-office 5 days a week post-pandemic?

Our in-house professional community weighed the pros and cons of working exclusively in-office after the pandemic.

Share post:
Community Perspectives: Would you take an in-house offer that mandates working in-office 5 days a week post-pandemic?

(Author) Legal Counsel

Just got a job offer, that will increase my current pay by at least $40,000 or more. The only negative is they require In-office work five days a week. Would you accept this? My current role is remote and after the pandemic, maybe a hybrid model would work, but definitely not five days a week in-office. Thoughts?

Assistant General Counsel Responses

  • I never left the office (among a handful of people that didn’t of 1000s). Depending on the company size, there will be career benefits to going in office five days a week. People, not just lawyers, like face time, and those in the office just get more. There may be a cultural issue, but someone may also be interested in ingratiating you to the culture and assisting your career trajectory.
  • It’s industry specific, though. Not being able to locate people in a business emergency is an issue. I am 100% influenced by my current position (in manufacturing), whereas I find it hard to believe any time in-office would be necessary in a prior job (financial services).

Counsel

  • When you applied, did the posting or initial screener interview state it was onsite? If so, take it, otherwise I don’t know why you’re wasting yours or their time.
    • (Author) Legal Counsel: I did not know it was on site. I figured it would be remote partially at least like most organizations now.

Corporate Associate Responses

  • My old partner was recruiting (moved as GC) but wanted five days a week in the office. He knew I was working remotely out-of-state, so I just said ‘no thanks’. I also knew the whole ‘we are not set up to work remotely’ was not true, because he is all about face time with people in the office.
  • Making five days a week essential is very different and no one does that for altruistic reasons. It’s just a ‘Boomer’ mentality of ‘if you’re out of office, I can’t trust you to work’. Honestly, I can’t wait to go back to the office, but if someone made that ‘essential’ I would run for the hills. It’s a workplace, not adult daycare.
  • What kind of company is this? If it’s not ‘essential’, this requirement may speak to the culture
    • (Author) Legal Counsel: Good analysis, culture is a concern for me. I agree, no remote work options is a red flag.

Associate Responses

  • I think it’s fine to take this position, especially since so many people are vaccinated now. Fine to say you’re open to coming into office after you’ve been vaccinated, and negotiate it that way. Otherwise, the legal industry is likely going to be back to normal soon. Better to be in-person anyway. You can always negotiate working from home, but if they insist on five days, I wouldn’t say ‘no’ unless the commute was truly unbearable.

In-house? Join the conversation on Fishbowl (anonymous).