Goodbye work martyr, you will not be missed. Wishful thinking for lawyers? Perhaps, as law is a sector where work martyrs are often both celebrated by those who benefit from their tremendous billable hours and derided by their peers. The giant work from home experiment brought on by the pandemic has proven that many organizations can operate effectively in a remote fashion. To a work martyr, this may come as disturbing news and may result in a noticeable uptick of the 2AM department-wide emails (read: “I am working!!“). As the work martyrs recede from prominence, perhaps the mythical “work-life balance” will start to emerge as everyone realizes that you can work hard, have a life and be an effective lawyer all at the same time. Or, on the other hand, perhaps for lawyers this is all a pipe-dream and things will slowly return to the Old Normal like it has so many times before. Time will tell, and with the legal sector shedding jobs, we may not find out for years.
“Even before the pandemic forced many of us into an unexpected work-from-home experiment, the concept of the work martyr — the person who shows up first to the office, is the last to leave and places work above all else — had become utterly antiquated. It harkens back to an era where most households had one income and the division of labor between men and women was more strictly defined. Earlier this year, it was reported that the share of women on payrolls exceeded the share of men in the U.S. And according to United Nations data, younger workers now make up virtually half the workforce, and that number is expected to jump to 74.7 percent in the next decade. This shift in demographics, combined with the traditional office environment going by the wayside, should finally put to rest the idea that presenteeism is the opposite of absenteeism. You can be absent from your desk, but present in your job.”
Read: Can We Finally Say Goodbye to the Work Martyr? at Entrepreneur