Zoom, Teams, Remote Working – From In-In to Out-Out

Coming up to almost 18 months working remotely it appears the majority of us have adapted really well to being remote. We were fortunate enough to have moved out just before the first Lockdown kicked in. But how have the last 18 months affected the way law firms interact with clients? What new technologies have they adopted? Will law firms revert back to their old ways of working?

Let’s start with the biggest thing we all needed to adjust to and that’s the fact most of us no longer need to commute. Think of the hours we have all saved, no longer sitting in traffic, stuck on a train platform, or having a space invader getting close to us on the tube. It has been great to hear some people have spent more time with their family, some have improved their fitness, and others simply just enjoyed the extra hour in bed.

But, there is the other side to no more commuting. Does our workday start sooner and finish later? A lot of law firms especially Conveyancing firms have had the pressure piled on. Meaning instead of leaving our work at the office, we came home with it and stayed long working into the night.

Finding that work-life balance is easier said than done, clients still expect law firms to provide a top-rated service. So, did conveyancers really get that time back?

Teams or Zoom – Which one?

I wish I had bought shares in Zoom back in 2019…I would be writing this on a beach with a cheeky pina-colada. These two pieces of software have caused us all to say the following words at least once on a remote meeting:

“Can you hear me?”, “Can you see my screen?”, “What’s the pin again?”, “I can’t hear you”.

There is also a preference over which one is best, MS Teams or Zoom? Do your clients have a preference? Have you ever given them the option? I now give clients the option of the following:

Zoom or HSVD (High-Speed Voice Device) it means the phone. The phone in some cases can be quicker than setting up a Zoom or Teams call. We can get Zoom / Team fatigue bouncing from one remote meeting to the next. Think to yourself, wouldn’t it be easier to talk about this over the phone?

Remote Workforce

Before we were forced into remote working, law firms’ IT Manager would have a number of projects they might look at over a 3-year plan. In comes, COVID like a wrecking ball, and law firms are now forced to push their 3-year plan into a 3-month window. From onboarding, clients to make sure all the teams are able to work remotely in a secure way. This was a huge wake-up call for some law firms. But, I think they are better off for it, we are seeing more law firms save huge costs by having a remote workforce and setting up ad-hoc remote offices for when they need to see clients. Is this the new way law firms will engage with their clients?

Electronic signatures have now been adopted by the Land Registry. With tech leaders like InfoTrack plowing the way with new integrations and adopting new ways for residential teams to onboard clients more secure and effective. It will only be a matter of time before we see more tech companies coming into the legal sector to further support the modern law firm.

Legal Conferences / Networking

With everyone’s social calendar being wiped out in a second. We were all looking for how we will get our conference and networking fix. LegalEx was canceled, Legal Geek postponed, then comes along online conferences. Probably not as exciting as we all thought they might be, in some cases people were left wondering “Should I spend my marketing budget on this?”

Networking moved to LinkedIn, by the end of Q4 2020 LinkedIn increased its active users from 675 million users to 722 million.

I can see continuing further, as more and more law firms begin to understand the huge benefits of digital marketing and the wider audience they can attract at the click of a button.

Mental Health

Last on this subject is our mental health, not having that human face-to-face element can start to chip away at our mental health. It’s great to chew the fat with a colleague on the way to the coffee shop or passing in the corridor. But this was taken from us, it affected the Conveyancing market hugely.

Today’s Conveyancer launched the Conveyancing Pledge for law firms to support each other. Further details can be found here please sign up and support our conveyancers, they have been through a lot!

There will come a time when we have some form of normality what and how that looks is anyone’s guess. I am glad and proud to work in an industry that is able to ride out this storm for as long as it has, and I know we can all continue to support each other in years to come.

Blog written by Rich Dibbins of Staxton Digital.