The workplace has completely changed for most of us, and while hunkering down and working remote among the chaos, we’re not certain when we’ll return to our offices. While many executives at tech companies and professional services firms are used to working remote with some frequency, it’s probably not something corporate counsel is used to doing, so we wanted to share five considerations that will make your remote work a little easier during these uncertain business times:
- Set up a conducive workspace – We all do our best work when we have exactly what we need with us. This may involve quickly running back to the office to pick up your extra monitor for home use, getting extra printer cartridges for your home office or finding a great pair of Bluetooth headsets for those long conference calls. Using the same tools you’re used to or getting new ones to adapt to specific needs while working from home will help you do better work and save you from logistical headaches – both of which are worth the investment.
- Maintain a routine – Keeping a regular schedule is crucial to staying on task. This includes continuing to set an alarm and getting ready as you would for a regular day in the office. Just because you’re working from home and in a different environment doesn’t mean you can’t take your breaks – be sure to enjoy your lunch break and go on coffee runs when needed (if drive-through is an option for you right now, that is!).
- Determine tasks that can be outsourced, such as bill review – The last thing you want to worry about while working in a completely different environment, and with everything else going on, is the tedious demand of bill review. Quovant offers a suite of solutions to manage and monitor matters – including streamlined eBilling, comprehensive legal bill review and performance analytics. Now is an especially important time to monitor outside counsel costs. Whether you want a software solution to manage your own matter management and eBilling, or you need an experienced team to monitor billing compliance, review activity, and identify opportunities for efficiencies, Quovant can help.
- Mitigate distractions – COVID-19 has not only displaced many executives across the country, but has caused schools and daycares to close as well. When working from home with young children around, it’s important to have a private, enclosed space to focus during normal business hours. For those who don’t have a home office space, they can stake out the dining room table or temporarily move a desk into a bedroom. Make sure children (and their babysitters) know not to interrupt you, but do enjoy the benefits that this situation brings – such as eating lunch with the whole family a few times a week. Ensure your family (including your spouse) knows you’re keeping you regular hours and to not interrupt you until you’re done for the day. Working from home likely requires setting firmer boundaries with your family to ensure interruptions remain at a minimum.
- Encourage collaboration – Whether it’s an Intranet that team members can access from home or using one of the plethora of cloud document management tools available for companies, team collaboration is vital when the rest of your department (and company, as well as law firm partners) are also remote and working from different locations. Sharing files and documents this way is just as easy as when you’re in the office. Even simple platforms such as Google Docs make your work more convenient and help streamline collaboration. Tip: LegalBill from Quovant also supports collaboration for small to mid-size legal teams. From vendor and document management, to important emails and notes, LegalBill takes the complexity out of managing matters, vendors and invoices – and its starts at $175 per user/per month and includes a free 30-day trial!
By keeping the above considerations in mind and setting a few boundaries with your family (and yourself), you’ll surely set yourself up for success as you navigate and adjust to this ‘new normal.’ Remember, open communication with team members goes a long way – we’re all juggling various pressures and it’s important to lean on each other for transparency and support. We’re in this together!