By Deborah Witkiss, COO, Insight Legal
Remote working has become universal during the pandemic. The office is replaced by a designated area somewhere at home. The journey to the office is replaced by the telecommute. The standard 9-to-5 day is replaced by flexible hours.
While these operational changes have given business continuity, the impact on individuals working from home (WFH) has not always been positive, argues Deborah Witkiss at Insight Legal. However, software can resolve many of the problems experienced by WFH employees and their employers alike.
Blurring the boundaries between professional and private life
The line separating work from home is blurred. There’s no clear geographic division from workspace to personal space, no punctuation to the daily grind and no set time of day to shut down the laptop.
The conjoining of work and home, and working longer days, mean that stress is rising with accuracy and attendance bearing the brunt. Other emerging concerns are supervision and teamworking, resulting in lack of essential direction and failure to function coherently.
These factors do not a successful law firm make.
Gaining immunity through software
Part of the solution comes in the form of cloud case management and legal accounts software which contains functionality to support home workers and management teams.
The first way software helps is by introducing efficiencies. Where Insight Legal Software is concerned, this plays out in areas such as the workflow, tasks and time recording features of our Enterprise system.
Assigning tasks and actions at each step in your workflow makes sure that the right things are being done (or not being done) by the right people at the right time. The automatic prompts to perform an action, automatically populate data, automatically calculate financials, and automatically save correspondence and documents eliminates errors to which anyone working long hours is prone. With work made easier, morale benefits, as does attendance records. Plus, your staff get more done in less time, as shown in accompanying time recordings.
The second way software helps is by enhancing management and collaboration by setting up approval measures, performing file reviews, distributing work and redistributing during sickness or holiday. The associated monitoring and reporting permits identifying mistakes for rectification, tackling unfair volumes so that no one is stretched more than another, prioritising work for its timely completion and continuing case progress to stay on track.
Teamworking capabilities are revolutionised because you can coordinate everyone’s schedule, align employees and oversee junior people. Your business is more orderly, your procedures more methodical and your service delivery more consistent, for advantages internally (morale and engagement) and externally (stakeholder perceptions): the visible manifestations of a well-managed company.
Risk, trust and control
Insight Legal participated in the Law Society Gazette roundtable on the changing nature of risk with wellbeing and supervision discussed at length. The consensus being not getting overly distracted by the tangential issues of WFH at the cost of people. As a sector whose business is delivering legal services, we wholly rely on our people.
HR programmes are the primary channel to overcome staff welfare challenges. As we have demonstrated here, though, software also plays a leading role.
Software’s role is about more than just empowering your talent to be productive anywhere with cloud faculties. Software’s role is to elevate efficiencies, reimagine legacy processes, mitigate risk in all its guises, unite and protect workers, and strengthen controls to tick your ‘working from home’ box, not ‘living at work’.
From 21st June (as per the current government roadmap) you can choose how you will operate, whether it is returning to a totally office-based structure, paring back on office space or adopting a hybrid architecture. Whatever your business decision, Insight Legal is here to support you. Our software gives you the total flexibility to run your company any which way with tools designed to optimise procedures, connect people and equip partners to manage better: insightlegal.co.uk/solicitors-software/enterprise.