COVID-19 is a reality, what’s the next step for your law firm? We take a look at digital transformation and remote working.
It’s a reality, COVID-19 is changing our everyday lives, the way we work, the way we communicate, the way we socialize, and the way we think. What we considered to be our daily routine isn’t there anymore and we all have to adapt, find ways to –above all- stay safe and healthy, but also productive and competitive.
Remember orange is the new black? Well, nowadays social distancing is the new black and remote working comes together, helping us stay safe, while we can still perform our daily tasks. Law firms face certain issues and we’ll try to cover them, and suggest alternatives that will make this new reality as seamless as possible.
Make sure all phone activity continues seamlessly
The first topic starts with phone calls. That’s the spine of your business and you want to make sure that you are ready to take that call, or call a client, as you would do a week ago. Taking into consideration that your office team works currently from home, we could look at the following options.
1. Call forwarding. This is probably the simplest solution. Contact your provider and forward any incoming calls to the phone of your preference. In some cases this could be done in rotation, to make sure that people change shifts.
2. Use a VoIP (Voice over IP) system. There are plenty of options out there that will allow getting your calls everywhere. A VoIP system will allow multiple of your employees to be able to pick up a call, as you can install it in multiple devices (desktop, mobile, etc). Most options also give you the ability to send and reply to text messages and other services like WhatsApp or Viber. Most VoIP services will allow you to connect your desired phone number and you can make a call using it. At Nanato Media, we use an application called Toky and from our experience, you can rely on such a solution.
3. In case you want to make a call, you are out of the office and you don’t want to let others have the number you can use one of the various spoofing services. A suggestion would be Spoofcard, but there are plenty out there.
Access your files while working remotely
Moving forward to the next topic, we need to cover access to files. The first scenario is simple if you are already on the cloud; you are all set. You can access your files from any device, from anywhere. What about businesses that store everything locally on in-house servers? Well, there are two options.
1. Get everything on the cloud. It’s an opportunity for a law firm to adapt and modernize its infrastructure. Be careful though, the setup has to be secure. And remember that you can still keep your in-house server and take valuable backups. At Nanato Media we use Google Drive, the price is fair and you and it’s easy to use, even for beginners.
2. Use some of the in-house computers as “mainframes” for remote working. Multiple solutions will allow you to connect to a remote working space. You need to make sure that it stays on and you have all the necessary credentials to access it.
3. If you have hard copies that you might need, spend a day in the office, following all the guidelines for staying safe and scan them. After scanning them, either use your cloud storage, if it applies to your case, or upload them on the PC that you will use as your remote workspace. You can also use solutions like Dropbox or Google Drive that will allow you to store your files and also share them with your colleagues.
Electronic signature is Key
The next important topic to be covered is signing documents. Every law firm must have a system in place that will allow proper handling of all new intakes and also any other documents that need signing from clients. Safety is key and you want to make sure that you can collect any necessary signings without having to involve physical contact. How can you achieve that? Well, the answer to that is simple; you have to use an electronic signature solution for your law firm’s needs.
There are many e-signature platforms out there, we, at Nanato Media, have used Docusign, multiple times, in the past and it’s trustworthy and easy to use. It not only allows you to stay safe during these strange days, but it also allows your client to sign on the spot and you don’t need to go through the hassle of driving back and forth carrying hard copies. Of course, there are always certain types of documents that need to be notarized, in which cases, follow the coronavirus health protocols and remember that safety comes first.
A law firm also relies on emails and Office suite. We all know that a lot of law firms use Office 365 and this means that you can use your copy anywhere, including outlook for your email. In case a firm doesn’t use Office 365, we have to go back to remote access to the main computer. From there, you or your colleagues will be able to work on the MS Office files. Regarding emails, you can easily add them on your home computer/laptop, smartphone or tablet, using one of the multiple free email clients.
Prepare for what’s next
These coming weeks will find with more time away from office and social activities. It also means that a lot planned events will be cancelled and so will be some offline marketing activities. Well, it might be a great opportunity to shift to digital! Be it revamping your website or learning more about search engine marketing(SEM), now it’s time to act proactively and be ready for a brighter future.
Remember, the safety and health of our beloved ones and ourselves come first, but there is always a lot to do, so we all need to adapt to the new reality. Remote working is essential and digitalization comes with it. We all need to see the opportunity in this difficult period and build up a brighter day for our future.