Remote work has become the norm across industries over the last year. Attorneys have shifted to working from home, which has its own share of advantages and disadvantages. But will they stay there even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides? Most likely.
One survey from LOEB Leadership found that 67% of legal professionals want to stay remote, at least part-time, even after COVID. So, even if law firms open back up as normal, lawyers will still want to maintain some flexibility.
Let’s walk through the pros and cons of working from home for lawyers and tips for improving remote work environments.
Working from home: pros and cons
If you’ve been working from home during the pandemic, you’ve probably discovered these pros and cons of remote work:
- Shorter commute
- More schedule flexibility
- More time to spend with family or on hobbies
- Dress code is more relaxed (or nonexistent)
- More opportunities to stay focused on work instead of socializing with colleagues
- Money saved on commuting, e.g. gas or transit costs
- Feelings of isolation
- Harder to stay in contact with colleagues
- New communication methods required
- Focus may come and go because of home distractions
- Difficult to recreate in-person meetings
While working remotely may be easier and more convenient for attorneys, the challenges it brings mostly relate to communication and isolation.
How to improve remote work
So, how can you combat these challenges and stay social, connected, and focused? Here are a few tips for remote work for lawyers.
1. Stay in communication
It’s more important than ever to stay in touch regularly. You may want to set up more meetings with colleagues so you can all check-in, and make sure you’re always checking on your clients. Use technologies like client texting for even better collaboration and support.
2. Separate work and home life
It’s always a challenge not to be distracted by what’s happening at home. Make sure you have a separate space, with a door if possible, where you can work in peace. Set clear boundaries so that family members won’t disturb you throughout the day. Treat it like you’re going to work, and get ready as if you’re going into the office.
3. Take regular breaks
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t take a full lunch break or 20-minute breaks throughout the day to go for a walk. To maintain your focus at home, it’s important to rest sometimes and think about other things so that you can come back to work focused. Just make sure you plan these breaks out and don’t become distracted by things you have to do like chores at home.
4. Use the right cloud-based tools
Sometimes a shift to working from home requires more cloud-based tools so you can work on cases from anywhere. A legal software like NextChapter helps you collaborate with colleagues and clients so that no productivity is lost – in fact, NextChapter can help you streamline processes, eliminate data entry, and improve communication.
Lawyers are already finding that remote work is here to stay, even after the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are completely lifted. These tips will help you make the most of working from home.
To learn more about NextChapter and how it helps remote law firms, sign up for a free trial today!