The face of legal practice has changed significantly due to the pandemic. One of the most notable effects has been the number of legal professionals who now see remote and hybrid work arrangements as normal.
Most companies have widely embraced the remote model as a way to cope, but in the post-pandemic society it is now informing a new situation where remote working and hybrid arrangements are preferred.
Why legal professionals may resist back-to-office policies
The legal profession is a 24/7 hands-on practice. It’s hard for lawyers to be off the grid, even when working from home. This is one of the reasons why many law firms insist on having their legal professionals return to the office.
When evaluating the success of remote work for legal professionals, consider it from three angles; of the firm, the lawyer and the client.
According to the 2021 Thomson Reuters Stellar Performance Survey, 59% of lawyers in law firms said working from home had a positive impact on their overall wellbeing and job performance, and 84% of legal decision makers said admitted to not being frustrated with their lawyers. being outside their work environment. The survey also showed that the customer experience was not greatly affected by the switch to remote work.
Lawyers are also attracted by the prospect of less travel; the possibility of not jumping on a train, paying for a parking space or coming home late because of the commute is incredibly attractive for legal professionals. This informs their demand for more remote work opportunities. Obviously, getting your employees back to the office would take time to convince.
Motivate legal professionals to return to the office
Many legal professionals, who are productive working remotely, are hesitant to return to the office. Some may think the pressure to get back to the office is an ego game on the partners’ part, while others think it signals a lack of confidence in their ability to function effectively from home.
As with most things legal, these professionals need to hear a superior argument as to why they should come back. Here are some valuable points you may need to emphasize.
Advancing Lawyer Careers Through In-Person Mentoring
If your law firm already has a strong mentorship program, now is a great time to highlight its benefits or create one if your firm doesn’t.
Mentoring is quite different from supervision, although the same senior counsel can perform both functions. Supervision is more about the legal work done during billable hours, but mentoring is more about helping your employees with more personal matters, helping them understand how to progress within the company or how to increase their profitability as lawyer.
Drive law firm innovation with in-person connection
Despite all the benefits remote work brings, chances are your employees are missing the human connection with their colleagues. It’s hard to create a vibrant atmosphere and culture on Zoom. Remind your employees of the importance of connecting in person.
An impromptu conversation and argument about a legal issue between colleagues can learn more than a training session. Additionally, co-workers can learn by observing the work of others and asking questions about their strategies. This connection is what builds unity and maintains a company’s brand.
Having in-person collaboration and brainstorming is also a great benefit of personal connection that cannot be done through the internet or a phone call.
Few people can talk about work for hours on the phone, but most lawyers can brainstorm for hours in person. These brainstorming and collaboration sessions often result in some of the best legal strategies. Legal professionals should be keen to get back to that brainstorming table as soon as possible.
Boost morale with office events
Working remotely is often amazing for a while, and then morale starts to drop. Chances are your lawyers are already feeling the pressure. An amazing way to boost morale is to organize energizing events in the office.
Whether it’s an event to symbolize the start of baseball season or a cheese party on Friday, the idea is to get everyone together in the same room and foster stronger relationships. These events are often attractive enough to keep your employees coming back to the office. These events boost morale and the effects often ripple through overall productivity and profitability.
Explore other law firm talent retention strategies
Legal professionals are testing the market, many are quitting, and many more are moving to other firms for better pay or a better work-life balance. The pressure for more remote work systems is strong and unlikely to abate. With carefully considered strategies and clear communication, you can strike a healthy balance between working in the office and working remotely for your business.