Working remotely has its pros and cons for any lawyer – but how does it fare for the actual firm owner? Operating out of the office may not pose a challenge, but managing your team of lawyers (and any other support staff) is what most firm owners find to be the biggest challenge. The number of adults in the U.S that work from home has more than doubled and even the slow-to-change legal sector is changing.
Whether your small law firm is entirely remote, or you as the owner are looking to manage the firm remotely, there are particulars that every firm owner should consider. Bid the office adieu and forget the morning commute – here are the essentials on how to run a small law firm while working remotely.
Working Remotely with: Employees
Establish a VPN Connection
A VPN or virtual-private-network is a private connection that is only accessible to authorized users. These offer secure communication and data sharing within the network.
Create Solid Performance Evaluation Criteria
You need to ensure that performance doesn’t dip because the boss isn’t physically present. Lack of face-to-face interaction with your employees or staff can make be difficult to relay expectations or provide critiques. Counter that with clear, quantifiable goals that make their actions visible and holds them accountable.
For example, every morning you could have them send you a broken down list of their most important tasks for the upcoming day. Not only does this force them to acknowledge their own tasks, but keeps you, the remote manager/business owner, informed.
Develop an Internal Communication System (and Encourage Communication!)
Slack and Skype are just two of many popular communication platforms that businesses utilize. Company-wide chats, video conferencing and screen sharing are fantastic methods for keeping remote workers in the loop. There’s nothing like face-to-face meetings, right? Well, according to Forbes, 87% of telecommuters report feeling more connected when they use virtual video conferencing.
Take advantage of the multitude of inexpensive communication software. Encourage communication within your firm and with you, regardless of your location. Other software tools like Basecamp, Asana, and Dropbox are great ways to manage your team’s files, documents and tasks in one place (and they can improve your day-to-day operations).
Working Remotely with: Clients
Sign (and Store) Documents Electronically
Enable clients to quickly and securely send important documents and forms electronically. There are a number of cloud software tools that not only allow you to go paperless and store sensitive information, but they often allow access for multiple team members. No matter where you are, your team will be in the loop and you’ll have your files wherever you go.vpn
Rent Virtual Office Space
If the entirety of your small law firm operates virtually, you need at least one physical location where you can meet with clients. A virtual office space is a brilliant financial option that has several benefits for specific needs. Most basic packages give the business a physical address they can list (which is great for SEO purposes). Many professionals just want to have the option to use conference rooms for meeting clients. Should you desire it, there are also options for use of a private office in the facilities.
As the legal field begins the transition into virtual space, lawyers are more equipped than ever to experience the flexibility that telecommuting offers. Even as a law firm owner, today’s inexpensive technology and auxiliary services make it easier than to run a small law firm while working remotely. If you’re looking to make that switch for yourself, Attorney Business Consulting offers support in all areas a small law firm would need. From day-to-day operations to digital marketing for lawyers, call for a free consultation and see what the experts can do for you!