In 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world of work to undergo an extremely large experiment. In a matter of weeks — in some cases, just days — entire firms transitioned from in-office to remote work. The positive effects on productivity, health, job satisfaction and work-life balance surprised many and inspired a new normal that many workplaces adopted as the world emerged from lockdown.
As businesses adapt to post-pandemic life, leaders must make important decisions about future work styles. Some firms may go back to full-time personal work; others may choose to work from home full-time. But many firms are implementing hybrid work environments that combine the two. Accenture’s Future of Work Study 2021 surveyed just under ten thousand hybrid workers, and 83% said they prefer a hybrid model that allows them to work remotely at least 25% of the time.
Hybrid work is an adaptation that will technological optimization required to make everyone work together and communicate efficiently and effectively. While a hybrid workplace has multiple benefits, it cannot be realized without the right legal project management (LPM) solution. Here are four areas that can be optimized by implementing the right solution at your firm.
1. On board
It is important that new hires feel connected to their colleagues and have a thorough understanding of the firm and their individual responsibilities. Knowing that their firm has taken the time to implement strong onboarding strategies can help them feel valued. An effective virtual onboarding process is crucial to hiring the best available talent and keeping them for the long term. By by automating time-consuming onboarding tasks, you leave yourself more time to focus on making sure your employees feel equipped to start their new roles.
Remote onboarding also offers new employees unique opportunities for flexibility and convenience. But you need a collaborative platform that keeps all employees and managers informed, giving them instant access to the right information and instilling confidence in their readiness to adapt.
Team members must be able to easily and securely access legal documents and materials, regardless of where they are located. All law firms involve some document collaboration, which can be challenging given the amount of work undertaken in these documents. Your firm must have technology that allows everyone to collaborate seamlessly, to take the work out of teamwork.
The right LPM tool can help your firm:
- Deliver engaging content experiences and customer portals
- Create a single source of truth for legal information with real-time updates, activities, tasks and much more
- Easily manage, share and collaborate on sensitive documents and content in secure project workspaces
- Visualize and share project status, budget and other key metrics, enabling full transparency for all parties.
If implemented properly, hybrid work models can increase productivity. According to Forbes88% of employees who have more control over how and where they work report greater job satisfaction and therefore better productivity in their working day.
Two additional studies revealed that remote and hybrid employees were 22% happier than onsite office workers and more likely to stay in their current job. They experienced less stress and more productivity when you work from home. 56% of respondents mentioned improvements in mental health, better balance between work and life and more physical activity, which suggests significant health benefits.
It’s clear that giving employees the freedom and flexibility to work where they want can make them happier and more productive. But mundane, repetitive tasks like handling a full inbox and developing tasks and timelines can still make for time-consuming, unproductive work. Team members’ success with hybrid work requires proper tools for communication, feedback and collaboration. Modern legal work solutions can help create a truly efficient hybrid workplace by effectively helping employees prioritises, organizes and coordinates projects.
4. Customer Communications
Clients are happier than their lawyers actively communicate important details to them and provide them with a space where they can access information on their own. Using the most efficient and secure tools can give customers confidence that the lines of communication are constantly open and that their information is secure.
Having a secure place where your firm can share files, communicate and collaborate is essential in a hybrid work environment. This enables everyone to do their best work – in the office or at home. For the hybrid model to be successful and to realize all the benefits it offers, it is crucial that you optimize your legal technology – not just for your firm, but for your clients.
Optimize your hybrid work environment
The legitimate project management software that you implement at your firm has the power to increase your firm’s value to potential new talent, improve the experience for current clients and keep lawyers happy – no matter where they work from.