How Law Firms Can Keep Their Legal Teams Engaged When Working Remotely
Law firms are embracing remote work in droves, partly because it’s become so easy to do it well. Many organizations have realized that they can expand their talent pool by hiring lawyers who don’t stay in the same city as their main office. Even experienced attorneys enjoy working remotely from time to time.
However, this type of work arrangement also poses unique challenges, one of which is ensuring that your team stays engaged with the project at hand.
Here are some top benefits of working remotely for lawyers, and then we will discuss the best eight tips to keep your legal team engaged while working remotely.
Let’s dive in-
Top 5 Benefits Of Remote Work For Lawyers
The best thing about working remotely is that it offers you great flexibility. You can take work with you wherever you go; if something comes up, you can conveniently rearrange your schedule to accommodate it. That’s not always possible when you have to be in an office from 9–5. It’s hard to pick up the kids after school or watch them when the babysitter is not available.. In those instances, work from office jobs may not be feasible.
Some law firms now offer flexible hours so lawyers can still meet their family obligations even if they work offsite full time. Other firms are allowing more telecommuting opportunities and lawyers to choose their hours as long as they meet specific productivity goals.
2. Reduce office costs
A remote working lawyer would help in reducing office costs. This is because you will no longer need to rent office space, buy office furniture, or pay for office utilities. In addition, a remote lawyer will have more control over their internet and phone bills.
On top of reduced office costs, having a remote lawyer on your team can also save you time. Instead of meeting with your employees in person, you can conduct meetings over Skype or conference calls so you can connect with them on your schedule and from wherever you want.
3. Connect globally
It’s no secret that law firms are changing. Law firms are increasingly looking to expand their footprints internationally, and acquiring c more global clients than ever before. Therefore, the need for lawyers to be able to connect with clients and colleagues around the world is greater than ever.
While some international travel may still be necessary in many cases, spending less time on planes can save firms money and allow staff to save travel time. Not only does this mean improved productivity, but it also means a better quality of life for employees.
4. Focus on long-term strategies
You can focus on long-term strategies when you work remotely rather than constantly putting out fires. This means that you can take the time to develop a clear vision for your firm and build processes that will help you achieve your goals.
Additionally, working remotely gives you the chance to build a strong team of talented lawyers who can work together effectively even when they’re not in the same physical space.
7 Tips To Keep Legal Teams Engaged When Working Remotely
1. Set Clear Goals
Keeping your legal team engaged can be challenging when working remotely, but setting clear goals can help. It will help your team focus on what’s important and avoid getting sidetracked. Setting clear goals also helps identify strengths and weaknesses within the team so that they can support each other as needed. For example, one team member might find their time is better spent researching cases rather than drafting briefs.
At the same time, another might have a knack for organizing files or maintaining office supplies. These roles can be formalized with an organizational chart, ensuring every team member has a meaningful role to play in accomplishing the goal.
2. Get Face Time
One of the great ways to keep your legal team engaged is to get face time, even if it’s just via video chat. Lawyers might feel isolated when working remotely, so getting regular check-ins can help prevent that. Plus, it’s a chance to provide feedback and give assignments in person.
Other ways to get facetime include:
- Scheduling company-wide meetings
- Weekly meetings with your direct reportees
- Setting up regular video chat calls
Giving feedback in person is also a great way to keep your team engaged while working remotely. A weekly meeting in which managers discuss performance with each employee helps teams stay on track but doesn’t require everyone to be in one place.
Even a quick five-minute call once a week can be helpful. Scheduling regular check-ins will make it more likely that your team will feel connected to one another and committed to their jobs.
3. Don’t Let Your Lawyers Swim In A Sea Of Emails
In a remote work environment, lawyers can quickly feel like they’re constantly swimming in a sea of emails. This can lead to disengagement and feeling overwhelmed. To combat this, have a system in place where employees can flag or prioritize emails. This will help them focus on the most important tasks and avoid getting bogged down by the less important ones.
Allow your attorney workforce to have a life outside of work. The nature of working remotely means that employees need their own space. Instead of expecting them to be online at all times, allow them to disconnect and enjoy their lives outside work. They will be more productive and happier if they can do so.
4. Track Your Employee Performance
You can’t manage things that you don’t measure, and that’s especially true when your team is working remotely. Tracking employee performance is essential to keeping your legal team engaged and ensuring everyone meets their deadlines.
Employee performance monitoring tools are essential in every modern workplace. These platforms allow managers to track how their teams are performing and their current workload. Effective performance monitoring systems can help you see where your lawyers may be struggling and provide you with actionable data that can help you address potential issues before they turn into huge problems. Many of these platforms, like Workstatus, also offer a GPS time tracker to keep a tab on on-site lawyers.
5. Delegate Trust
As a team manager, the best thing you can do for your team is to delegate trust. When you delegate trust, you are telling your team members that you believe in their ability to get the job done. It empowers them to take ownership of work and fosters a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. Delegating tasks will allow you to better supervise projects’ progress while ensuring employees feel like they have a stake in the company’s success.
As a result, lawyers will feel more engaged and motivated to perform at their highest level. When you delegate tasks to your team members, ensure that you let them know exactly what is expected of them.
6. Promote Clear Communication
In any work environment, promoting clear communication is a key to maintaining engagement and a sense of teamwork. But it can be difficult to keep every member on the same page when your team is present across the country (or even the globe). One way to do this is by using technology like video conferencing. One survey found that remote workers who regularly used video conferencing were more satisfied than those who didn’t use video conference at all!
While this might not be an option for every type of project, it could still provide an effective solution for teams working remotely in different other capacities. For example, remote lawyers could take advantage of video conferencing during legal discovery or depositions if they can access one from their location.
7. Create Regular Check-Ins
When legal teams work remotely, keeping everyone on the same page and engaged in the work can be challenging. To combat the arising issue, find ways to encourage collaboration among your team members. Whether you use video conferencing software or a shared folder of documents, many tools available will help your team stay connected.
If possible, create a virtual meeting space where all of your team members have access to view and contribute with updates about their current projects or just chat with each other regarding what they’re working on during the day.
This article shares a complete list of top strategies to keep your attorney workforce engaged and productive. Each approach is different, ultimately, all comes down to the same rule: If you want your lawyers to be committed to their work, you have to show them that you care for their well being too.
Putting all the ideas on how to keep lawyers engaged into practice is one thing, however, there are many other challenges associated with managing a globally dispersed team that you must not miss. Like processing payroll for lawyers and contractors in different regions of the world and ensuring you comply with local laws and regulations is a massive task that can easily take over other tasks.
The time and billing software for law firms makes managing your team easier than ever. Sign up today to try the most advanced best billing software for small law firms here-
Thanks for reading!!