Written by:

Jane Oxley

Can Lawyers Really Work Remotely?

October 16, 2014

In today’s connected world, remote work is possible in almost every field. For the legal profession, there are both potential profits and pitfalls in remote work. To achieve the best results, your firm should approach conversations about remote work thoughtfully and with an open mind. If you implement remote work policies this way, the positives for your employees and firm should outweigh any drawbacks.

Here are a few ways you can turn potential pitfalls into positives through strategic use of technology and improved employee communication while they work remotely:

Pitfall: Face-to-face client meetings are an essential part of the lawyer-client relationship. With lawyers working from out of the office, options for face-to-face meetings may be restricted.

Potential: Depending on the needs of your employees, it may make sense to have a remote work policy that allows for lawyers to work from home several days a week but requires them to come into the office for scheduled meetings on the other days. This allows for the necessary meetings while giving your team a sense of flexibilty and control that will increase their job satisfaction.

If members of your team work remotely from a more distant location, such as from a different city, this may in fact increase your options for working with clients. These attorneys or employees can lead work with clients who are in their own geographical area, expanding the area your firm can serve.

Pitfall: Legal work requires reams of documents. When lawyers aren’t gathered together in one office, the necessary documents become harder to access, and the possibility of confusion and miscommunication rises dramatically.

Potential: It’s time to go digital. With programs like Smokeball, law firms can securely organize and store crucial client files in the cloud and access every file, anywhere, all the time. Cloud-based digital filing makes remote work simple and possible. Smokeball also makes the operation of staff in the physical office more efficient, and allows firms to automate basic administrative tasks.

Pitfall: Remote work may come along with added costs when employees need to meet in person as a team or with clients.

Potential: If some members of your team work remotely full-time, your firm can save costs on office space, and apply the saving toward these costs. Programs like Smokeball can also help members of your team work efficiently on one project even when they are apart, reducing the need for travel and in-person meetings.

What other challenges has your firm faced with remote workers? How are you addressing them?

Want to make remote access to documents a reality for your office? Take the first step by watching a demo of Smokeball’s software demo of Smokeball’s softwareand see how case management software can change your law practice!

 Photo Credit: CQuadratNet via Pixabay 

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