As things slowly return to normalcy from the COVID-19 pandemic, legal firms, lawyers and courthouses will now need to figure out how to operate in new ways. With a global recession also looming on the horizon, many will need to re-evaluate their existing setup where efficiencies are achieved at improved costs currently. Over the last few months, legal technology has been paramount in keeping businesses going while keeping employees safe.
Digital technology has played an enormous role for businesses in 2020, and it will continue to do so as companies worldwide continue to adapt to unprecedented changes to stay ‘business as normal’. Here are a few ways technology will continue to support the legal industry beyond this crisis.
Portable productivity – work from anywhere
For the last few months, almost everyone has been working from home to adhere to the social distancing rule. For a fast-paced sector like legal, where working from home was not the norm, it has forced legal professionals to work outside of the ‘office’ while maintaining high client commitments and workloads. In a recent survey conducted, it has been found that 60% of Australians found it beneficial to work from home as it saved time commuting. And about 70% claimed that they were more productive in a remote setting.1
Legal professionals have become more mobile over the years, and being productive on the go has increasingly become critical. Now with things returning to normal, they need to get work done whether on the road, in the office or at home. Using cloud-based workflow services allows seamless collaboration among fee-earners and support staff to deliver on client commitments. Having the ability to work from anywhere practically is now a must-have in the legal industry to retain their bottom line.
Achieve work-life balance, avoid burnout
Due to the rigours of the profession to drive billable hours and maximise productivity, lawyers find themselves suffering from burnout and struggling to find a sustainable work-life balance. Having the option to work from home on certain days does provide relief. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed claimed that working from home made them less stressed.1
While no two people have similar preferences when it comes to work styles, leveraging the latest industry-specific speech-to-text solutions help lawyers significantly reduce day-to-day pressures and offer ways to make their workday more manageable, enjoyable, and rewarding.
From desktop-bound to cloud – traditional operational costs made redundant
Perhaps the most significant change was how the current work situation is making law firms take a hard look at traditional operational costs. Given the way the Covid-19 crisis has caused firms to replicate productivity outside the office, it is a valid question to ask whether an office location is actually essential. Potential savings on rental leases and other on-premise expenditures can be used to provision company profitability in the face of financial crunch. Slater and Gordon in May announced working from home will be the new nom for its 2000 employees. Their intention is to close the London based office to 200 staffs once their lease ends and find a smaller space for hosting meetings while others can get work done from home or elsewhere.2
The recent pandemic had industries adopting a remote work structure on the fly, due to the absence of contingency planning. Many firms had issues with their software as those were mostly desktop and local office network bound without being cloud supported. It has persuaded lawyers to try mobile apps for dictation and web-based workflows. Using cloud dictation and opting for a subscription solution eliminated upfront costs on new devices allowing the ongoing costs to remain flat and predictable with no hidden costs.
Technology is now more essential than ever. It has helped to not only stay connected but has been an enormous contributor in work collaboration and continuing to be business as usual. Leveraging digital technology is one major step in coping with the challenging times. If cards are played right in adopting the appropriate technological solution, it can be used to create not just the new normal, but a better normal.
Philips SpeechLive is now available in New Zealand. It’s a great workflow solution for New Zealand firms and organisations.
Want to know how cloud dictation and transcription software can help you and your law firm to work more efficiently, contact firstname.lastname@example.org