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Gimbal's Tip of the Week

The Lean Law Firm Blog

E71: One thing you need to do if you want remote work to work for your team

industry challenges Feb 23, 2021

If 2021 has taught us anything so far, it is that we are not going back to business as usual any time soon. What does that mean for your practice?  

Welcome to Gimbal’s Tip of the Week, where you get practical, actionable advice 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 time to enjoy it. 

Throughout February, we have looked at the challenges of working with remote teams and strategies you can use to overcome these obstacles. We talked about The Important Distinction Between a Team and a Work Group – and Why It Matters, The 5 Characteristics of Effective Teams, and The Biggest Source of Frustration When You’re Working Remotely.  

Our last tip in this series is simple: embrace the reality that things will not be going back to normal. Instead, set yourself and your team up now for long-term success in the Work-From-Home future. 

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It may be tempting to shrug off these strategies because you think you won’t need them for much longer. Many firms have failed to implement effective mechanisms to improve their remote teams because they believe this is a temporary reality. It is not.  

Though a vaccine is on the way, we may never go back to business as usual and we probably shouldn’t. There are some serious benefits to being agile, reducing real estate spend, working remotely, and embracing technology to run your law practice. Successful firms, no matter how small or large, aren’t using stop gaps or half-formed plans for managing their teams. They are putting concrete, long-term systems in place to support effective remote work.  

So, how are you going to do that? 


Working From Home is Here to Stay 

If you are going to solve some of the practical challenges that make it harder to work from home, start by listening to your team members. What challenges are they having?  

As part of a recent Working Together When You’re Working Apart keynote, we polled over 250 lawyers, paralegals, and assistants at one of Canada’s largest firms to find out the biggest frustrations with working from home.  

A surprising number of respondents said they simply did not have access to adequate resources at home. Desks, ergonomic chairs and keyboards, extra monitors, all those things that firms typically invest in for the office, but people often don’t have at home. Not having this equipment affects people’s ability to produce their best work.  

Find out what your people need and do what you can to alleviate the frustrations they’ve been having. And don’t just ask the lawyers. If you want the best quality work from your juniors, assistants, and paralegals, find out what they need. We know some firms that have allowed their staff at all levels to take whatever equipment they need from their offices to get themselves set up effectively at home.  

Listening to your team members has an added benefit. By asking for feedback and having regular check-ins, you can ensure you’re hearing about and addressing all their frustrations before they become major problems.  

This week’s tip: Set your team up for success, so you can embrace the benefits of working from home and enjoy the flexibility and cost savings. 

While your competitors are using stop-gaps until things go “back to normal,” you will have effective, robust teams who can produce quality work - no matter where they’re working.  

It’s a proactive approach that leads to happier team members and ultimately, happier clients.  

The information we have covered in this month of tips on remote working is just some of what we go through in our new presentation, Working Together When You’re Working Apart.  

That’s it for this week - stay tuned for more great tips.  



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