As organisations adapt to life in a post-pandemic world, one thing is certain: flexible working is here to stay.
The rapid and unavoidable rise in remote working practices over the past two years has enriched many people’s lives: opening the door to new and exciting job opportunities, enabling more time to be spent with family and friends, reducing the pressure and cost of commuting, and more.
But it’s also presented complex challenges. Teams have become more siloed and isolated, impacting the natural chemistry of human interaction and in serious cases, impacting mental health. Digital exhaustion is now a real and dangerous threat, as people burn out from spending too much time in front of computer screens and unable to ‘switch off’ and relax at home.
These developments are redefining the global workplace environment, fast. Reuters reports 86% of lawyers want to work remotely at least once a week, double pre-pandemic levels. Before the pandemic, just 15% of employers said that more than half their workforce worked regularly from home, but after the crisis 40% of employers said they expected more than half their workforce to work regularly from home. It’s a significant shift – and has implications for all of us.
Legal firms must build on their proactivity
Legal firms have coped impressively with the stresses of the pandemic. Many have continued to adapt quickly and effectively, with forward-thinking and proactive strategies to keep employees safe, productive and happy in their day-to-day tasks. However, big challenges remain regarding talent recruitment and retention. Success depends on the ability of law firms to support their people in working from home effectively while maintaining a sense of connection with their team and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
This psychological shift is the single biggest factor for law firm employers to consider. 60% of legal employees would consider leaving their firm for a better work-life balance, while 63% want to work flexible hours compared to 22% pre-pandemic. In response, employers should restructure their offerings to enthuse candidates to feel valued and rewarded in their roles – not only in terms of physical work, but also in their own personal wellbeing and life.
Make hybrid work for everyone
Hybrid working is critical to this evolution – but it’s not easy to implement. Most law professionals are positive about making the move to work this way, but without the proper systems in place it could impact their ability to continue delivering their client assignments and processes as effectively as they can on-site. In fact, those working from home could end up feeling neglected – and unable to connect with colleagues.
For a hybrid strategy to have the right impact, law firms should consider which technologies and software will best benefit their business and deliver their needs, so that employees are empowered and free to work effectively from anywhere.
Cloud technology and intelligent integration make all the difference here, by enabling people to work flexibly wherever they are, while also ensuring sensitive information stays secure and the right systems are accessible to communicate and collaborate with others.
Confidential client files, IT hardware and communications tools can be reengineered and optimised to benefit employees and clients alike, by delivering high performance and protection along with the convenience to work together, remotely.
While introducing any new IT approach, it is of course vital to ensure data governance and cyber security are in place, to safeguard your business, colleagues and clients going forward. Because so many hybrid working solutions have had to be created and deployed in law firms at high speed in response to fast-changing demands, many cloud services and other new systems don’t have the security levels they should. They are left vulnerable to opportunists for potential hacking and ransomware breaches, which could spell big trouble for a legal practice’s reputation.
We’ll ensure your technology can take the strain
We have the expertise and insight to help you install the right solutions for your remote working needs – then keep them running smoothly and securely going forward.
We’ve already helped a number of other law firms. Commercial law firm Temple Bright wanted to modernise its remote collaboration and device management policies. We helped it migrate to Microsoft 365 which provides everything its business requires to support effective remote working, collaboration and device management in the cloud, while keeping everyone involved productive and safe.
To make sure, we also trained Temple Bright’s team in its entire hybrid workplace solution, so that all employees could make the most of the new features and capabilities on offer and understand how to benefit from them.
By modernising and futureproofing these IT systems, the firm has greater control over authorised data access, without impacting staff productivity.
Come along to one of our free MCAP workshops to learn more about what we can do for your legal practice. We’ll assess your current remote working set up, establish the type of support you need to get where you want to be, then work with you to achieve it.