Technology gives a lot of us the opportunity to work at home. Whether just occasionally or full time, working at home is very different from checking in to the office. The home environment is not necessarily conducive to productivity. As such, it takes a certain kind of mindset along with some effective strategies to ensure that home work is as productive as office work.
For law firms, working at home can be an option. Attorneys, legal assistants, and support staff can all work from home when necessary. Moreover, giving staff members work-at-home opportunities can enhance the work-life balance and give employees a sense that their employers care about them as people.
We believe that there are a number of essential work-at-home strategies that law firms can employ to make the most of those opportunities they wish to give their staff members. Four of them are discussed in this post.
1. Adopt Cloud-Based Software
Working at home in the legal arena requires access to software. In this day and age that means cloud-based software. The place for every law firm to start is adopting a cloud approach for everything from case management applications to accounting software. You will be happy to know that NuLaw is a cloud-based package.
The cloud’s most attractive benefit is access. From in the office or outside of it, staff members always have access to software, communications, and so forth. Moreover, data can be shared in real-time among team members. With an internet connection and a device to get online, NuLaw is just a tap or click away.
2. Create a Device Policy
Device usage is generally a concern when employees work at home. When a law firm adopts a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, there is not much they can do or say about staff members using their devices for personal reasons at home. But when devices are supplied by the firm, that’s another matter. As such, creating a device policy is a very good idea before allowing staff members to work at home.
A device policy determines exactly how firm-issued devices can and cannot be used. It stipulates how data is transferred and protected. It might stipulate certain websites that are not allowed, as well as how users protect their passwords and usernames.
3. Practice Time Tracking Diligence
Since the home environment is not always conducive to productivity, it is imperative that staff members be encouraged to eliminate distractions while working at home. A good way to make sure that happens is to be diligent about monitoring time tracking. This is one area in which management needs to be especially diligent until good work-at-home habits have been developed. Even after that, routinely checking time tracking never hurts.
4. Insist on Secure Communication
We are proud to say that NuLaw has a built-in communication module that offers secure communications for the entire legal team. When attorneys and staff members work at home, they should avoid using personal communication methods to conduct business. Everything should still go through the secure cloud platform.
Secure communication is essential to both client privacy and law firm integrity. It can be essential to the integrity of any case. To be as succinct as possible, working from home is never an invitation to use less secure means of communicating with clients and between staff members.
There is a lot to be said for working at home. With the right mindset and a few key strategies, law firms can allow staff members to work at home from time to time without any loss of productivity or service. It all starts with NuLaw.