Keeping good employees – from secretaries to attorneys – has always been a difficult task in Florida. The pandemic (and the debate between going back to the office versus staying virtual) is just the latest hurdle.
Operationally speaking, it seems tricky to manage a hybrid office with staff splitting time between working virtually and in the office, but it rarely turns out to be complicated. What’s more, at this point it seems as if a hybrid approach is exactly what staff want; by providing the option your firm should be in a strong position to recruit and to retain quality staff.
To make it work seamlessly, however, there are several details that need to be ironed out.
When virtual works well, it’s when a staff member has a specific task to accomplish. In that scenario, virtual is (typically) a much more productive environment than the office. Before a staff member goes virtual for a few days, ensuring that they have a set number of specific tasks to accomplish (write this brief, prepare that memo, research for the upcoming deposition) gives them the freedom to work and keeps them more engaged than being stuck at the office.
Then, when they have to present their work (to the attorney leading the case for example), make sure their schedules are synchronized with everyone else to come into the office.
This synchronization can happen with a shared Outlook or Google calendar (to block out specific times in everyone’s calendar), plus there are multiple other tools that can help precisely the way you need it to.
Accessing the Right Files Wherever You Are
One of the tougher components of running a successful virtual law office is making sure that your files are 1) secure and 2) accessible wherever you are. This is best accomplished with a robust file hosting service on the cloud (Dropbox is a perfectly acceptable place to start).
The good news from COVID is most law firms now have this set up. The next step is to make sure that your law firm has file-naming guidelines so no one is spending countless hours looking for files. Building an intuitive file-naming process will save a significant amount of time regardless of where you are accessing the files from.
Growing Your Firm’s Culture
While this is typically out of our purview in IT, the goal with a firm’s culture is typically to deliver stellar work and grow the team to be better each and every day. For most professionals, salary isn’t enough to get there.
Giving your team the flexibility to work virtually (at least part of the time) is a massive value-add for many, allowing them to choose their own work/life balance and – in the end – be more productive.
Then, when they are in the office, there is more buy-in to focus on building the team into a stronger unit.
If you want to build a tech stack that seamlessly fits into your firm’s process to work from the office (and anywhere else) so that you can better retain your staff and boost your margins, feel free to schedule a consultation.