Incorporate Remote Working into your legal practice as a risk mitigation strategy
Remote working can be a choice, but it becomes a necessity when travel problems, bad weather, flooding, power outages, health issues, or office closures occur. Given how global economies are interconnected, disruptions to work is expected to happen more frequently – and at times like now, it is important that your practice and staff can continue working as normally as possible, no matter the circumstances.
Forward-thinking practices have already implemented remote working policies to ensure business continuity and productivity. These policies empower legal practice teams to continue performing critical operations remotely and managing the practice as usual. Implementing the correct technology is one factor that is playing a vital part in helping to facilitate this move to working from home.
Cloud technology is by no means new and has become a game-changer in that people can be just as productive at home as in the office. Cloud-based practice management software enables a legal professional to work anywhere and anytime and from any connected device.
Why does your law firm need a legal practice management software?
- The current pandemic has increased health risks of every individual. This risk is not worth taking given the availability of software that can enable you to carry out the same level of work from home. Once close proximity of teams was nor a concern or a risk but the times have now changed.
- The software provides remote access to key information and enables full management of matters away from the office. Unlike the old days, you no longer have to be surrounded with a heap of files to know what’s going on with a case. You can stay at home and step out only to perform critical duties that require your physical presence like appearing at a court, thereby reducing your exposure to the pandemic.
- You will be able to engage in real-time collaboration with colleagues regardless of the physical location. Why waste time, money and energy asking your peers or subordinates to mail you or handover files? All that you want to know is just there on a screen 1 foot away from your face and at the convenience of clicking a button.
- Your team will be enabled to work and stay informed from anywhere. Gone are the days where you would be required to meet someone in person, drop a mail or call someone to assign tasks, monitor work, or brief on an upcoming project. You need to take a step back and rethink how productive and efficient your practice is if those are the methods you still use for your daily work.
- Your practice will be kept fully operational even in exceptional circumstances that may arise in the future. Based on latest findings, experts believe and theoretically predict that the current situation of COVID-19 would decline towards December 2020 (Source). But how certain is it? We never expected a Covid-19 in the first place. How can we be sure that a second wave is impossible, or worst case some other global pandemic? It is time we look at a longer-term sustainable solution to keep the practice going and so that work runs smoothly.
- Your staff will be enabled to perform their roles without the shackles of a daily commute. Would you want your team to take the risk of contracting a contagious virus by daily commute through public transport or shared services such as Uber and PickMe? What happens when one after the other starts falling sick and needs to be quarantined for weeks. Would you rather avoid the risk at the expense of implementing a new system or save your resources to take a risk of such magnitude?
- Furthermore, working from outside the office gives your team the flexibility needed to feel more fulfilled and motivated. With right control measures in place, they could even show a higher level of productivity as opposed to working at office (Source)
Sri Lanka is one of those countries that is controlling the current COVID-19 situation quite well. For this reason, it has come to a point where the government is planning on relaxing the curfew and allowing businesses, organizations, professionals to get back to usual work. The new normal is going to be quite alien to all of us and will take some time for us to adjust. For law firms, chambers or even solo practitioners, there will be no other good time to adapt to technology than this. All individuals who strive for growth and success should consider the implementation of an effective Legal Practice Management System into their practice, thereby mitigating risks and improving long term productivity and profitability.
Developing a remote strategy for your practice will make it easier for your team of legal professionals to collaborate without being limited to their office desks. Remote working makes it irrelevant where work is done and gives added flexibility, be it office, home, on the move or at courts.
Remote working, in short, is a risk mitigation strategy that every law firm needs to think deeply about in the months to come.