The global pandemic has forced law firms to work remotely. For the most part, lawyers have adjusted remarkably well — having gotten used to the distractions and isolation that remote work create.
Telecommuting is here to stay.
Firms have invested in upgrading technology for staff working from home recognizing the benefits of telecommuting. Remote work keeps overhead costs down and gives attorneys the flexibility to enjoy a more fulfilling work-life balance.
As we emerge from this crisis administrative assistants are now back in the office, handling essential office tasks on site while attorneys continue to work from home. With fewer staff in the office, social distancing can be safely accomplished.
The energy and people power created in the office is lost in the distanced workplace. Law firms need to ensure attorneys have a way to virtually access more experienced colleagues. Plan on routinely Zooming in with colleagues to work through legal challenges.
Remote work opens up new possibilities to talent that cannot work in a traditional workplace. Remote work can also be key to retaining valuable employees who have families and are struggling with child care, caring for your parents or loved ones with a disability.
Telecommuting has increased productivity while at the same time resulted in burning out attorneys. This can cause resentment, high turnover, apathy, and burnout. New boundaries need to be set giving attorney’s a fire wall between loved ones and work.
Everyone needs to feel that they are part of the team, the challenge is to find new ways to recognize essential work being done in and outside of the office. Remote work breeds isolation and a sedentary lifestyle.
Exercise programs serve to integrate overall health and well being into the workplace and at the same time serve as a form of appreciation. Firms can offer online exercise e classes with a trainer such as Peloton.
Host social networking events, TGIF mixers and themed parties like ‘Night at the Museum’ parties on Zoom to energize your remote staff.
The distance of working remotely can lead to feeling removed from the team. Not being in the office can create a wall of indifference that may impact morale, resulting in losing valued employees.
Everyone needs to know where they stand inside and outside the office. Set boundaries about what is appropriate to discuss and what is considered controversial or non productive.
Remote employee appreciation begins with awareness. Create and encourage a transparent forum for venting concerns about issues with policies and procedures.