Working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic may be a new experience for some in the legal profession. Most lawyers are used to meeting face-to-face with clients and making their arguments in a court room. With the looming reality that COVID-19 may be back again in the fall, here are some tips to make sure your working from home experience is as effective as possible:
1. CREATE YOUR WORKSPACE
Creating your own workspace is very important when you work from your home because there are so many distractions. The kids, the laundry, the home gym, are not present in an office environment and you may need some will power to stay away from the temptation to take care of other things. Set up your workspace where you will be free from distractions and make sure it is a quiet place, so you can make professional phone calls and do video conferencing without interruption. This will also give you a feeling of going to an office to work.
2. ESTABLISH BOUNDARIES
It is natural for children and spouses to want to talk with you when they see you. If working from home is something new you will need to talk with your loved ones and establish boundaries. The first few days... maybe weeks, might be hard, but eventually it will become a new normal. Continually reinforce your boundaries in the beginning, and you will be off to working in peace just a little bit quicker.
Firms need to leverage multiple tools to create an excellent remote work environment. A good internet connection, clear phone lines, computer, vpn, and printer are all critical tools for working from home. Other tools that are advantageous are a video-conferencing app, and a calendar app such as calendly for clients to choose a time to be contacted, and phone apps to allow full access from cell phones and computers. Litify offers a list of mobile-friendly tools, check it out here. If you don't already use Dragon Legal Individual or Group Speech Recognition Software, now is the perfect time to start so you can create, edit and format case files, contract briefs and more - all by using your voice! Mindware Connections offers complimentary demonstrations so you can see how simple it is to create your documents by voice.
Video conferencing will help you feel connected with your colleagues and employees as you work remotely. It provides a better sense of where everyone is at, as you are able to read body language and facial expressions. Keeping everyone on the same page is important and being able to assess if that is happening is important. It's also important to stay connected to your community and let them know you are still active in their best interests. Community connections help establish new clients and project a good image for your practice.
5. BE WILLING TO EMBRACE CHANGE
Experiencing with more streamlined processes between clients and courts can have successful outcomes. In a profession that hasn't changed a whole lot in time, this might be a shining moment for the legal profession. You may find some ways you have been doing business can really be accomplished in a faster, more efficient manner and adapt these changes permanently. This article on Trends Reshaping the Legal Industry can help you move forward.
COVID-19 is still forcing us to remain vigilant in social distancing. Working from home has been a productive mode of operation for many types of businesses for a long time. Accepting the change and working towards efficient ways of working remotely will help you be successful and might even spark new change for a long time.