Remote work was previously thought of as a “temporary” work option for many legal professionals, but has now become the norm in a COVID-19 world. This has many firms and organizations asking the important question, “How long will remote work last?”
While a definitive answer is unknown, data from a recent survey by Loeb Leadership revealed that 67% of lawyers and staff want to continue to work remotely, even when it’s safe to return to offices. The survey showed that a majority of respondents seem to have adjusted well to the shift in their work environment and are focused on delivering high-quality service to clients. It also showed that 92% of the respondents believe their firm has been meeting client needs during the pandemic.
This data indicates that remote work may be here to stay—or has at least paved the way for more flexible schedules for legal professionals in the future. So, how do you ensure remote work is most effective for your organization?
It starts with having the right technology. Many firms or other legal offices who had already adopted a legal case management system or matter management solution quickly adapted to the changes that remote work required and have already seen the advantages that come with it, including increased productivity, enhanced security and visibility and better collaboration across divisions.
Let’s take a look at some of the challenges still holding remote teams back and how case and matter management technology can make a huge impact.
Common Challenges that Keep Firms from Adopting Technology
Firms that have previously resisted the shift to technology are beginning to see the real advantages and necessity of doing so in the evolving global shift to remote work. Yet, there are still reservations for some on how to move ahead, and the divide between those firms who have adopted technology and those who haven’t is getting wider.
Here are just a few concerns that organizations wrestle with when it comes to taking the technology leap:
- Implementation. Many firms or government entities feel uncertain about investing in new technology because the onboarding process can be painful. The old adage, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” just won’t suffice in this new work environment. That’s because 1) customers, clients and citizens are also consumers who now care more than ever about quality service and 2) the manual processes of yesteryear can’t hold a candle to the speed and efficiency of automated technology. Implementing new technology may seem like a hassle in the short term, but the payoff is extremely high for a more efficient and productive future.
- Security. People now generate an unprecedented 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day—and some of it is extremely confidential. That’s why matter management security is so important. As you select a legal data management platform, consider how long the vendor has been around and what measures it has in place to keep your data safe and protected. Can you grant or restrict permissions? Are you able to update security clearance for every individual, group or file? Can changes be made in real-time, ensuring your data is secure 24/7?
- Speed. With a backlog of cases and legal matters to get through, it’s easy to understand how you might be apprehensive about implementing new systems that will supposedly disrupt your processes. Yet, it’s important to remember that things don’t have to change overnight. By prioritizing several processes to automate or workflows to collaborate on, legal teams who make the investment will see results faster and reduce the time spent on a major overhaul—and avoid the disaster that may come by doing nothing at all.
- Cost. It’s hard to justify investing in new software as other costs pile up (like the upkeep of office buildings we once visited daily). But there are costs associated with not modernizing your processes too, including lack of speed and productivity; employee frustration and disengagement; and lost client satisfaction because of poor organization and efficiency. It’s a challenging time, but as with any new process change or improvement, the results of implementing new technology and the benefits to the bottom line will be seen over time. In fact, digital transformation eventually leads to a lift in customer engagement, improved customer satisfaction and higher web traffic.
How Technology Solutions Help Drive Productivity During a Pandemic
If you’re not quite ready to adopt new legal technology, the data might convince you otherwise. A report conducted by SAP found that 80% of organizations that have completed a digital transformation report increased profits, while 85% say they have increased their market share. In addition, here are a few more benefits that organizations can expect to see from a case and matter management software (even if they’re not in a traditional law firm setting):
- Remote. With a matter management platform, “remote” can mean working from home, but it can also mean between offices. This software allows you to grant limited access to those offices, or certain individuals or groups. If your legal department is working with outside counsel and you only want them to see certain files and documents, you can set up a portal to the data they need, while protecting the data they don’t. This functionality allows for all levels of access and protection based on your unique needs.
- Ease complexities. By utilizing a matter management platform, everything is right there when you need it—no bringing home files, notes, business cards or case information. Legal case management software provides one central location for all the information related to each file or case, including documents, emails, notes, alerts and reminders. It ensures that everyone has access to the most current information and that reports can be instantly generated no matter where you are.
- Easy to sign on. When your lawyer case management system is browser-based, all you need is an internet connection to gain access. That means any computer with an internet connection will work. Many platforms also offer mobile apps for tablet and phone access so you can access your files remotely—anytime and anywhere.
- Collaboration. Managing matters electronically gives you the ability to communicate and collaborate with your colleagues even though you’re not physically present. Make notes, share files, set calendar events and more to alert your coworkers about a particular file in real time so your entire team is always up to date. Automate assignments and stay informed of any updates that are made to each matter. Group views of calendars also allow you to keep current on the upcoming assignments for your team related to each matter so nothing gets overlooked.
- Robust customization. With the ability to customize, your platform changes as your business changes. Through a flexible solution, you can tailor windows, workflows, pick lists and more as your organization grows and evolves. No technical or programming ability required.
Legal Files Makes Remote Work Possible
Need a system that keeps your team current and productive no matter where they are? Legal Files helps you stay connected in a changing world. We want to help your legal operations run as smoothly as possible no matter where you are—at home or in the office. We care about the issues you face and are here to help you uncover the advantages of being remote in order to be more efficient, enhance security and visibility and leverage remote communication and collaboration tools through superior technology.
Legal Files is the solution to take your productivity to the next level during this unprecedented time. With 30 years of experience supporting some of the world’s most renowned organizations, you can trust us to meet all your legal technology needs.
We’re here and ready to support you however you need. Contact Legal Files today to learn more about how we help organizations like yours manage what matters to you most.