On 10 July 2021, TSMP Law Corporation joint managing partner Stefanie Yuen Thio was quoted in a Straits Times article on returning to the office after the worst of the pandemic is over. Her thoughts were also shared on her LinkedIn.
She said “If I were a young lawyer or a mid-level paralegal, I would be raring to go back. To upskill, to make up for the last 18 months of lost training, to build networks among co-workers that will help me in my future career. The hand wave icon on the Zoom app cannot replace a handshake in real life.”
The spectre of job loss has also surfaced, with many pointing out a sobering truth – that any job that can be done well remotely, can be worked remotely from anywhere in the world and by anyone else similarly qualified.
She believes the flexibility is good, especially for professionals like lawyers. “Being able to regulate your time gives you a greater sense of control over your work and ownership of your career track. Professionals need to innovate in an environment that encourages freedom of thought and working in a drone like framework runs counter to that,” she said.
She added “A lot of learning comes from random discussions around the pantry table and oftentimes the best ideas and most effective solutions are born of organic discussions. We learn less in silos than we do in vibrant groups.”