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Webinar: Remote Work Best Practices For Canadian Law Firms

Key points:

  • A well-established remote work model is critical in attracting top talent
  • Are you planning to continue with remote work long-term at your law firm?
  • Discover the best practices for remote work management in this webinar

The Secret To Effective Remote Work For Canadian Law Firms

BMC Networks and Tracument collaborated on a webinar earlier this year in which we discussed a coming retention crisis (and opportunity) facing law firms.

We recently followed up with a second part in the webinar series, addressing the following critical concerns for Canadian law firms:

  • How do I ensure employee productivity?
  • What technology is required or useful?
  • How do I keep my employees engaged in our office community?
  • How do we communicate effectively with those working remotely?

Check out the full webinar featuring Christopher Coe, Co-Founder & Director of Business Development at Tracument, and Brian Mauch, CEO BMC Networks, to get the answers to these questions:

You Need A Work From Home Policy

Your policy should dictate the expectations for remote workers to ensure consistency in performance, working habits, technology standards, and more.

Critical aspects of the policy include:

Primary Evaluation Standards

  • Minimum standards of the job
  • Evaluation criteria
  • What’s essential about the employee’s position
  • Productivity indicators

Setting Guidelines

  • Where they work
  • Camera on/off during a meeting
  • Unexpected in-office presence
  • Schedule of work hours
  • Do-not-disturb time for focus

Technology Requirements

  • Home office technology set-up
  • Clear written communication on equipment provision
  • Internet stability
  • Utility bill for the home office
  • Distraction and comfortability

Review

Book time to review performance regularly, gather feedback from remote workers, and touch base.

How To Ensure Employee Productivity

A good manager is invested in their team’s success. A manager can positively influence business culture by getting to know their staff members and learning the conditions under which they most likely succeed.

In the long run, this effort boosts employee efficiency and job satisfaction—it’s all a part of the productivity game plan.

However, being a good manager isn’t as easy as working remotely. If you only see your team members during video meetings, you can’t make much of an effect, can you? You won’t be around to help them address distractions and other harmful factors in their performance.

Follow these tips to ensure your remote staff members are productive:

Prioritize Outcomes, Not Desk Time

  • Don’t focus on whether or not everyone is at their desk the same amount of time
  • Measure performance by outcomes, goals reached, and work completed

Use Objective Measurements

  • Billable hours
  • Standards of quality in work
  • Expectations from management
  • Trackable analytics

Show Trust In Your Team

It would be best if you created a culture of trust. If remote staff members feel micromanaged or untrusted in their commitment to their work, their engagement and satisfaction will suffer.

Use The Right Technologies

As you and the other c-level executives at your business have likely discovered since the start of the pandemic, your ability to work remotely and securely depends directly on your IT support.

In the remote setting, technology is necessary so that you and your staff can:

  • Access files, applications, and systems from a remote setting
  • Collaborate with colleagues, partners, and customers via video conferencing solutions
  • Stay secure against the increased rate of phishing attacks related to the pandemic
  • Maintain communications with cloud-based phone systems that keep staff connected

Make sure you have the following technologies in place:

Remote Access

You need to ensure staff can directly connect to their files at the office as if they were sitting at their desk.

Fully Digital Resources

Make sure you have digital counterparts of analog and hard copy resources available to your team in a shared cloud environment.

Home Office Necessities

Not everyone will have the necessary tools at home, so it’s recommended that you have several remote work bundles ready to go to maintain continuity and security:

  • Laptop
  • Monitor(s)
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Phone system and headset
  • Business-class firewall
  • AV Software

Sufficient Internet

Your staff will require reliable Internet connections to conveniently access files and maintain a high-quality stream during video meetings.

Develop A Hybrid Community

According to a recent study, newly remote workers across the country are encountering a series of challenges in their daily work life:

  • 19% experience loneliness
  • 17% have difficulty communicating and collaborating
  • 8% have trouble staying motivated

Has your staff adapted to remote work?

It’s understandable if they haven’t. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone. This era of remote working has led to the types of issues that managers would have addressed directly in the workplace. It’s not so easy now that you’re cut off from your team members.

Follow these tips to keep your remote workers engaged with one another:

Make Sure They Can See One Another

In the office, everyone would see each other just by being there. In a remote setting, email and phone calls don’t provide the same level of connection. Make sure to hold video meetings with staff, clients, and other contacts when possible.

Promote Balance In Their Workday

Make sure that your staff is striking the right balance at home. Just as they shouldn’t be slacking off because they’re not being supervised, they also shouldn’t overwork themselves. Make sure everyone is taking breaks to decompress, stretch, stay hydrated, and relax.

Make Sure Everyone Knows The Plan

Communication protocols are fundamental right now. Some staff members will update you multiple times a day without being told to do so. Others will follow a “no news is good news” mindset. Make sure to dictate a policy for how and when communication is to occur daily.

Get Them Collaborating

Getting your staff to work in groups on projects won’t just promote a productive workplace—it will also help you develop a healthier one. As mentioned, your team will benefit from any opportunities they have to connect.

Make Sure They Socialize

Switching from an entire office to a quiet house can be difficult for workers—don’t forget to schedule business and casual communication time. Your employees should still communicate regularly with one another and with you.

Looking For An IT Team With Remote Capability Expertise?

Organizations across Canada quickly realize they need reliable IT support and enhanced security capabilities to manage remote work long-term.

BMC Networks can help—throughout the pandemic. We’ve gained extensive experience helping our legal sector clients launch, optimize, and secure remote work capabilities.

Get in touch with the BMC Networks team to get started.