The concept of working remotely was once a perk offered by a small percentage of businesses. But, it’s now almost the norm coupled with variations of hybrid and Work From Home (WFH) options. In fact, it’s something that more and more employees want from their employers – to have flexibility in where they work from and to have a better work-life balance.
There are certain industries where working remotely can be more of a challenge, such as those in the legal field, but it’s certainly not impossible. With these tips, legal teams can find winning ways to work effectively from remote locations without compromising on the standard of their work, staff flexibility and overall productivity.
Communicate changes regularly
Shifting from a traditional law firm process to a remote one can take some getting used to, but communication is at the heart of your success. Any changes in policies or updates with clients need to be communicated clearly and quickly, so that everyone is on board and working to the same information and deadlines.
But, it’s also important that you communicate to your clients that you’re working remotely for a better client experience, as this will help to manage expectations and identify the best channels for clients to reach you on. Video conferencing can be ideal for hosting meetings remotely and also enables invitees to add notifications to the calendar for convenience. Clear communication makes the transition to remote working smoother and benefits employees and clients alike so they can adapt to the new way of working accordingly.
Use the right technology
Technology is essential to remote working, so legal teams need to have the right software and tools available to them to do their job successfully. Not having technology set up for flexible working can be incredibly demotivating to staff and can slow productivity. Make sure that documents are stored securely on the cloud for quick and easy access from any location, and utilise software to manage cases flexibly, which will keep all files in place and streamline operations. Any paper documents you may need should be digitised and stored in the cloud for safety, but also so that your colleagues can access them, as paper files aren’t conducive to successful remote working.
Remain in touch by phone and socially
Regardless of whether you have an office or not, your clients are still going to want or need to reach you by phone. So whether you’re working remotely on a temporary basis or it’s your permanent set-up, you will need to have a way for clients to get in touch. Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services enable you to make phone calls from your computer, which can be a convenient way for legal professionals to stay in contact with colleagues and clients from any location. There are also virtual reception services your team can use to take messages and field calls for a professional service that’s both efficient and flexible. A headset can also ensure your calls are clear for greater sound quality. When you’re working remotely, however, make sure that you’re keeping your colleagues and clients updated on your working hours so that you’re still delivering a good customer experience and a professional service.
With remote working, there might be a tendency to overlook the social benefits that a physical office provides. To maintain and even improve a healthy workplace culture for your employees, organise regular meet-ups, team events and incentive programmes for your legal firm.
Set up a VPN
Remote-access Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, enable employees to connect to private networks securely from any location. Legal professionals need access to sensitive data and client information, so a VPN is an essential tool to make sure that the information and files they’re accessing are protected.
A VPN means that whether your legal team is working from their home office, a collaborative workspace or a public space, data is kept secure yet accessible. Data protection and cybersecurity is a critical issue, for all businesses but especially in the legal sector where there are so many threats present, which a VPN can help to alleviate.
Legal professionals can make remote working work for them, with the right tools and systems in place. Today’s digital age makes it easier than ever to work flexibly, regardless of the industry you work in, and with the likes of case management software, VPNs and VOIPs, you don’t have to compromise on security or the service you provide to your clients. Providing your team is trained on how to use these tools properly, and clients are aware of how your team is carrying out tasks, remote working can be just as efficient and professional as working from an office.