Remote work is new for many in the legal industry, which has been known to embrace change and new technologies at a slower pace. The current state of work requires a virtual environment for many law firms, and ensuring the success of the remote workforce requires careful planning and guidance.
Here are five ways to support your remote employees during this transition.
1. Implement the right tools and software
Communication should be a top priority in remote work environments. Make sure you invest in the right technologies to make it happen for your law firm, including:
- Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts for face-to-face video calls
- Slack for instant chats
- Cloud-based legal software, including NextChapter’s web-based application for case management and CRM
- Cloud-based storage solutions like Dropbox
- Online project management software, like Notion or Trello
Test out these tools, gather feedback from employees, and see what works for your workflows and what doesn’t. The important thing to remember is that information should be accessible online, and communication should be a breeze.
2. Stay flexible
To fully support your team, remember to stay flexible. This transition may be hard on everyone, and your plans will need to be revisited again and again. Because staff members may have to worry about child care and other home responsibilities, be open to new schedules and workflows. Let everyone know that you’re in this together and that you’ll find the right solutions that work best for the law firm.
3. Encourage breaks
One big challenge of remote work is that tasks can overwhelm people’s personal lives. Without the separation of an office setting, work bleeds into all hours of the day, and it’s hard for them to escape answering emails and phone calls.
This will eventually cause burnout, so encourage remote employees to take regular breaks throughout the day to prevent this from happening. And don’t expect them to work during a lunch break or after their scheduled hours.
4. Hold regular check-ins
Another priority for a remote team is scheduling regular check-ins, multiple times per week. Keeping the team on the same page means have regular conversations. Ask employees to share their experiences, their struggles, and their successes. Always ask for feedback.
Having regular meetings, even if brief, will keep staff members feeling like they’re still part of a team. And this mindset is one you have to continue nurturing for a remote office.
5. Make meetings more fun
As you may be holding more meetings than normal, they can quickly become stale. Get creative with your remote meetings by incorporating games or opportunities for employees to discuss something more personal. What’s one thing they accomplished outside of work over the last week? What’s one new goal they can set for themselves?
Share stories about pets, TV shows or movies, and music. Check-ins and meetings don’t always have to be all about work. Keep people engaged by making meetings more fun.
These five tips will help you better support your remote team. Virtual work environments are now the new normal, and everyone has to adapt. When employees feel supported, they’ll be more productive and satisfied with the work they’re doing.
Incorporate a cloud-based software like NextChapter so your employees can continue collaborating on cases from home.