Most law offices around the country have gone remote, at least part of the time or for some operational functions. Teams are embracing virtual communication tools, including video conferencing, instant chats, and phone service. Individuals are setting up their home offices. And workplaces are trying to provide the same level of service to their clients and customers.
When you’re tasked with managing and operating a remote office, here are tips and suggestions for being the most productive, supportive, and efficient.
Tips for managing a remote team
Navigating the new normal for workplaces can be overwhelming. But when you’re proactive and flexible, you and your team can be more productive than ever. Here are a few pointers for managing virtual law firm staff:
- Hold regular check-ins, both one-on-one and with the whole team
- Ask workers what they need to feel supported at home
- Encourage openness and communication about new challenges
- Make sure teams have all software and equipment necessary to do their jobs
- Hold trainings or send out materials about work-from-home best practices, like:
- Staying physically and mentally healthy
- Avoiding too much isolation
- Healthy habits
- Setting up a private, quiet workspace
- Setting boundaries with friends and family at home
- Set new work-from-home productivity goals and metrics
These tips will get you started in managing your remote teams in effective, supportive ways.
Tips for operating as a remote law firm
Next, here are some considerations for trying to operate as normal from remote locations:
- Embrace digital tools and forms – avoid lots of physical paperwork when possible
- Put steps in place to encourage and promote productivity, including setting clear expectations for each employee and team
- Foster collaboration with cooperative tools and regular meetings, even when face-to-face isn’t necessary
- Use cloud-based software for better collaboration and case management
Software essentials for remote work
Digital tools and cloud-based software are the way of the future as more offices are going virtual. Here are some top tools you and your team should integrate into your remote workflows:
- NextChapter: A cloud-based legal software for attorneys. Manage client communication and bankruptcy cases more efficiently with intuitive tools and features.
- Ruby: Work with expert virtual receptionists to streamline your firm’s phone answering service.
- Clio: A legal software that helps you organize your contracts, automate client documents, track client progress, run reports, manage cases, and more.
- Calendly: A free online tool to help you schedule and manage all of your appointments in one place.
- Zoom: One of the most popular video conferencing tools for teams of all sizes and meetings of all kinds.
- Debtor CC: An online credit counseling resource for clients to knock out their pre- and post-filing course requirements.
- NextMessage: A client texting feature from NextChapter that allows you to stay in touch with clients and set up text reminders.
- MyChapter: A client portal where clients can complete the bankruptcy questionnaire and client intake steps easily and quickly.
- HelloSign: A tool for contract and document e-signatures that are legally binding, quick, and easy.
NextChapter’s WFH plan for attorneys
NextChapter is now offering a Work from Home Plan for bankruptcy lawyers who are operating remotely. This plan gives you even more helpful features, including an initial training and setup call with our customer success team, our guide on how to automate your law firm, a consultation with a virtual paralegal, and free use of the Modern Attorney directory. You’ll also have access to all of our Pro+ plan features.
Contact the NextChapter team to get started!