We’re all steeped in bulletins on Covid-19 and are living in this new state of uncertainty. Many law firms are writing about payments of statutory sick pay, how to handle attendance from a legal point of view, and there is no point in my repeating what we have already read.
I think it is more productive to plan for the medium and perhaps longer term, and to see what silver lining can come out from under this ghastly cloud.
At IRL we all work virtually; we do not have a central office as we spend at least 50% of our time, collectively and individually, with clients, providing whatever service is required. We are supported by technology-based project management and accounting systems and, as far as possible, we are paperless. All our documents are saved to password protected storage systems, and we shred hard copies as well as saving scans into password protected folders when we receive hard copies of documents.
While various statutory meetings associated with restructures, disciplinary matters, capability issues, issue of contracts etc. often have to be face-to face, many of these can easily take place on a visual medium - Skype, Face Time, Zoom or the like.
As a result of the way we work as a team, located around Greater London, Suffolk and beyond, (and yet with a great deal of camaraderie), we are planning ahead to work remotely with our clients even more than usual in readiness for stringent restrictions. The most useful thing that might emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic is even better management of one’s time and the increase in creative ways of working.
Many individuals are really going to feel the financial pinch - those who are freelance, on zero hours contracts, Statutory Sick Pay only contracts and so forth. Instead of going for a shut down and feeling paralysed, we can become better managers of our time, and find further ways to work using technology. We are ensuring that all our connections are up and running – Skype, Facetime, Zoom, Go To Meeting and the like, to ensure that the show WILL go on. Even a business shutdown does not involve a shutdown of our technology, so we are advising our clients to pre-empt a possible slow-down, through technology planning.
If you’d like any advice on the successful management of remote working and a virtual office then we’d be happy to share our experiences with you so that you can keep going, save time and eliminate the slow-down that enforced and voluntary isolation could create.