Book a Call


Gimbal's Tip of the Week

The Lean Law Firm Blog

E70: The biggest source of frustration when you’re working remotely

industry challenges Feb 16, 2021
woman working sad

What is your biggest frustration about working remotely? During a recent presentation called Working Together When You’re Working Apart, we asked a group of over 250 lawyers, paralegals, and assistants what they found hardest. And it all boils down to one thing.

Welcome to Gimbal’s Tip of the Week, where you get practical, actionable advice that you can use right away to build a more productive and profitable legal practice. Why? Because, every lawyer deserves a practice that gives them financial success and the freedom to enjoy it.

Last week, we talked about the five characteristics of effective teams and you can read the article here.

Want to watch this tip instead?


The Difficulties of Working Remotely

We found there are 5 of the themes that emerged from the polls we ran during our presentation, Working Together When You’re Working Apart.

  1. People have little idea of who is working on what, and this makes it harder for them to supervise, keep matters on track, and even assign work to people who have the bandwidth to take on more work. It also makes people feel like they are working in a vacuum.
  2. People feeling disconnected and isolated. Not only did this impact their quality of work it was hard on their mental health as well.
  3. People are finding it hard to consult with other members of the firm. They miss the collegiality and casual meetings that enable them to get answers to questions, share opinions and best practices, and catch up on the latest developments in their practice areas.
  4. Many feel it is much harder to get clear instructions. They can’t follow up easily for clarification or answers to particular problems.
  5. Overall, people reported a lack of structure and clarity, and this made it harder to get their work done.

There is a common element that ties all these together. Ineffective or insufficient communication, that is what is responsible for so many of the challenges facing remote teams.


It All Boils Down to Communication

This week’s tip: When you sense your team isn’t working effectively, there’s probably been a breakdown in communication somewhere along the way. We recommend this quick reset:

  • Ensure everyone understands what they have to do.
  • Ensure tasks and deadlines are clear, and changes in expectations or timelines are communicated promptly.
  • Ensure relationships are clearly defined, who reports to whom.
  • Communicate the impact of each team member’s work on the big picture.
  • Communicate the client’s objectives, and
  • Affirm those team members are all invested in your client’s success.

Clear communication is the best way to overcome many of the challenges that undermine your team’s ability to work effectively together, despite working apart.

Thanks a lot everybody!




Success in your inbox!

Sign up for our Tip of the Week for practical, actionable advice that will help you build a more profitable, productive practice.

We will provide you with practice management tips and related information and offers. We will never sell your information, for any reason. Unsubscribe at any time.