Coronavirus - will home working hinder the legal profession?
(From The Link App Team)
At the time of writing, there had been 596 positively tested cases of Coronavirus in the UK. Most people are recovering, but we are officially in a pandemic - Ireland and Scotland are closing schools and retailers are reporting empty shelves as people panic buy for a predicted close-down like other countries.
From an employment point of view, UK workers have been promised that they will be eligible for sick pay - the government has announced an extra £30bn to help. Homeworking is being actively encouraged as travel is reduced and meetings postponed.
It begs the question - how prepared is the legal industry?
Whereas other sectors have embraced flexible and remote working for some time, the legal sector is famously slow in catching up.
Yes, there are secure, private networks, that firms have set up for their teams - but I’d be surprised to hear of larger firms buying licenses for all of their staff.
Up until now, the debate around flexible working has mostly been whether firms should increase it for the mental health and lifestyles of their staff. We embrace it at The Link App but we recognise that there are difference scenarios for different organisations. For many, it has been a ‘good to do’ as opposed to a ‘have to do’.
This outbreak however, has thrust upon the UK a potential need for lockdown, never seen before. If the spread does accelerate, how many UK law firms are actually prepared for this: what kind of impact will there be? Without a good technology and case management system, workloads can quite simply not be managed, which will have a direct impact on client relationships, and ultimately, incomes.
We have always stressed that a secure and prompt connection to clients is vital, across all trades. A person can track a pizza, a taxi – almost anything – but not their own legal case.
Faster responses, more clarity on case progress and an overall better customer service experience is vital in order for law firms to deliver the kind of service that today’s consumer expects – those that don’t deliver it could get left behind.
The Coronavirus, however, puts a new slant on this. If employees are forced to work from home, they still need to keep in touch securely. A mobile case tracking and management interface that helps lawyers keep in touch with their clients enables instant messaging, document sharing, case updates, push notifications and secure document storage – without having to invest in clunky networks.
The Link App's free trial allows unlimited numbers of users in a firm and includes no payment up front. Now is the time to start thinking about trying legal tech out – for your firm’s future as well as your customer satisfaction.