Agile working is a familiar concept for law firms, many of whom have policies for employees to work remotely one or two days per week. Such policies are even widely agreed to be beneficial to both firm and employee, enhancing efficiency whilst allowing employees flexibility.
The Covid-19 crisis, however, has led to the implementation of agile working at an unprecedented level. Offices have been shut and most of the population have been forced to work from home without an end date confirmed.
Firms can continue ‘as normal’ under these unusual circumstances – but only with technology’s help.
Here are five essential areas of day-to-day business continuation and how technology can help you maintain workflow and keep employees engaged.
Various platforms have been designed to enable both internal and external face-to-face meetings: Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype are among the most established.
Virtual meetings are essential for business continuation for two reasons:
- They allow client meetings to continue to take place, either to discuss progress of projects and any changes to pre-existing work or to source new work; and
- They aid internal collaboration. For example, at Byfield, we continue to hold our daily ‘newshooks’ meeting in which the news and agenda for the day is discussed for efficient distribution of work among the team.
The advent of lockdown and the speed at which businesses were forced to establish working from home left little time for team training for the projected situation’s nuances.
To harness technology’s benefits, training sessions need to be implemented at regular intervals. Such training can take the form of screen sharing during virtual meetings or sending over training documents. Either the business itself can conduct the training or it can enlist outside support.
Byfield has continued to provide guidance; recently, we have written an article on the Top ten tips to ace a live broadcast interview from home to help both employees and clients.
Project Management Software
The online tool allows businesses to create boards, lists, and cards to help organise projects.
At Byfield, we have used simple project management software to help our team:
- Monitor assignments and deadlines.
- Allocate tasks.
- Prevent duplicity of work.
The Covid-19 crisis, with most firm employees working from home, places firmly considerations of employee mental health in the strategy of business continuation.
Working in solitary environment without the natural pauses and breaks to make a tea or coffee with co-workers can lead to less productive work schedules and encourage burn-out.
It’s important to have regular (virtual) face-to-face breaks with your co-workers. Ironically, through technological means, we can maintain that “human” element of work.
We can use this time to understand better how technology can help business to continue while we work from home. It will be interesting to see if the coronavirus reinvents the use of remote working permanently.
In conclusion, technology can be used to help business continuation while employees work away from the office. It enables both external cohesion with clients and internal cohesion with team members. With technology’s help, we can benefit from a little certainty to our day during this uncertain time.