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When you’re in the office, you’re surrounded by activity – questions from your team, meetings, a ringing phone – but when you’re working from home you may find yourself sitting in eerie quiet. Unless your day is punctuated by frequent phone calls, you could end up barely saying a word for hours – a situation that could quickly become depressing and demotivating.
Working from home is becoming the new normal for many people, and fortunately you already have all the tools at your fingertips to connect and communicate with your colleagues and clients and avoid any sense of isolation. In this article, we share some tips to help you ensure that you’re maximising the communication software available to you and your team.
Communicating with your team
Whether you run a small practice or partnership, or are part of a larger organisation, communication is key to keeping your projects on the move and maintaining colleague and client relationships. You don’t need to be stationed in the office together to keep up the teamwork and camaraderie, however – that’s where ‘chat’ apps such as Microsoft’s Teams or Slack come in.
Many such apps offer web conferencing, video and/or voice calls to keep your team tuned in to regular company meetings. You can also instantly message ideas, updates and suggestions to colleagues, keeping conversations grouped together (to save you from hunting through your emails for yesterday’s message about an urgent case file). Many apps can also integrate with other IT services (such as Office 365 with Teams), meaning that you can subscribe to one package and get a range of services.
Communicating with your clients
All the traditional tools remain available for reaching out to your clients – phone calls, emails, Skype calls and instant messaging – and these can enable you to provide instant updates on how their case is progressing, even when you’re not in the office. However, if you want to make the most of the potential interconnectivity across your IT systems, it is worth investigating ways to integrate your practice management software with your client communications.
At DPS Software, we offer legal firms a Client Portal service that integrates seamlessly with our practice management software. This, along with all of our legal software services, operates in the cloud, meaning that, with a reliable internet connection, you can connect with your colleagues on case files, and provide direct updates to clients as their case progresses. You can also connect and collaborate with third parties (such as your clients’ financial advisers) by inviting them to upload and sign documents securely in your case management software.
Working from home doesn’t need to disrupt business continuity for your legal firm – and there’s no reason why you or your colleagues should feel home alone either. Checking in with your team regularly – just as if you were all in the office together – will help your firm retain a sense of ‘business as usual’. With regular communication, continued shared goals and a commitment to solving client problems collaboratively, you can continue to operate effectively as a team until you’re able to rejoin each other in the office.
To find out more about how DPS Software can support your legal team while working remotely, contact us today.