Despite what many people think, lawyers can work productively, even when working remotely. Of course, remote work is nothing new, but in the legal field, it was never considered possible before now.
The topic of virtual firms was an interesting point of discussion about the future of law firms in 2018. By April 2020, the need for remote work had everyone scrambling to organize their office from home.
Even though it is not as easy for lawyers to work remotely as it is for those working in other careers, this is how lawyers can manage their levels of productivity.
1. Time Management Strategies
Remote workers in every field need to employ certain strategies, and lawyers are no exception. Productivity depends on efficient goal setting and time management strategies. Task organization, especially adhering to levels of importance, is the best method to ensure that all tasks are completed before their deadlines.
2. Flexible work hours and eliminating distractions
An ongoing 8-hour work schedule is not essential for higher productivity. Building team trust and allowing everyone to work at their pace offers flexibility that benefits everyone, including clients, because it allows more responsive communications.
Productivity is enhanced by being disciplined at home. However, this can only work if your family is aware of your work schedule, allowing you to continue working without distractions.
3. Communicate, Delegate and Supervise
Communication tools allow you to connect with team members and clients. Learn to use them effectively to keep clients informed and to keep track of team member progress. This is especially important if you oversee a large team.
Communicate with all team members, discuss their workloads, any constraints they face, and insist on feedback. Feedback allows everyone to work better because they can learn from it and take the necessary action.
Delegating tasks accordingly can help you run an efficient office from anywhere, especially if you supervise realistically.
4. Lay down the rules
Everyone in your office or team must know the work protocols and must adhere to them. This means they know what they must do and when. In addition, a backup plan is essential for productivity since it allows someone else to step in if one team member is suddenly unavailable.
Transparency is important where teams of lawyers are working remotely. Any member of the team facing any constraints needs to feel free to mention them. This helps ensure your team is always offering professional services to your clients.
5. Create an Effective Home Office
A home office needs to be as comfortable and quiet as possible. Choose a quiet room or corner of your home, and ensure you have reliable internet, a laptop, and a printer. Collaboration tools are essential for every law firm. These allow associates to work together remotely, sharing files, discussing cases, and presenting status updates. Some of the most popular tools include Flowdock, Slack, Basecamp, etc. I prefer to use a cloud storage service that allows the secure sharing of legal databases.
6. Proper Management of Expectations
Working from home saves you commute time and offers you a more relaxed environment. One of the greatest advantages of this is enhanced productivity. However, for some team members, it can also mean that their efficiency level is affected. Working remotely may require a re-evaluation of your legal firm’s growth expectations, but it doesn’t mean that it will be negative. Asana is a great communication tool that allows you to track your work, making it easier to measure your success.
7. Establish a Routine
Whether you stick to a regular work-time routine or not, there are some things that you need to adhere to if you want to remain productive at home. One of the most important is to change into work clothes (you don’t have to sit at home in a suit, but don’t spend the whole day in your PJs.) Also, many people forget to take breaks while working from home, but these are just as important as they are at the office.
These are just some things you can do to ensure you are just as productive at home as you are at the office.