Law Firms Using MS Teams Across US for Hybrid Workforce Even After Pandemic-Driven Changes Recede
Key points from the article
- Hybrid is the new work style for the legal industry after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but many law firms still struggle to implement the hybrid workforce.
- The legal industry believes that adopting valuable hybrid models might be daunting — requiring specialists to implement and migrate — but will cut operating costs in the long run.
- Most law firms prefer lawyers in offices at least three days a week, but only after contending with setting up a secure and flexible hybrid work environment.
- Many legal companies turn to Microsoft Teams for a unified communication system, including high-definition conferencing, real-time collaboration, document storage, sharing, and signing.
The legal community faced a challenging time when the COVID pandemic forced the whole industry into 100% remote work in 2020. Law firms sent their lawyers home, and attorneys had to contend with setting up a work-from-home environment.
After nearly a year and a half, the legal industry embraced many pandemic-driven changes — turning remote work into a hybrid working environment. However, as the US-based legal community appears to have no specific return-to-office dates, law firms are committing to move forward with the hybrid and remote mitigation. Some firms have moved away from the targeted date and instead gone for remote resources and functions on hybrid solutions.
Other law firms across the US admitted to enjoying the off-office cost-saving and decided to shift to hybrid workplace policies and technologies. Many chief operating officers of law firms agree that a full return-to-office scenario might even be impossible again.
The Expectation of Attorneys to Work Remotely is Storming Upon the Legal Industry
One of the most significant post-pandemic results was full remote work. Lawyers were forced to pack up their offices and work from home. Attorneys had to adjust to video meetings with co-workers and clients without the need for physical meetings in the office.
With the right technology, the legal industry has even higher expectations of attorneys’ ability to work in a hybrid or remote environment.
In fact, many law firms face challenges executing the planned phased office returns. While some attorneys prefer to return to the office, many want to at least have a hybrid work schedule. The preference for hybrid working presents more hurdles than the initial wave of the pandemic for firms that want to turn to in-person work.
The One Solution that Nearly All Law Firms Are Willing to Pay For
As the legal community realizes that 100% in-person work isn’t coming back soon, legal firms seek well-integrated workplace software that allows co-workers to communicate and collaborate without physical meetings.
Many legal firms are implementing such solutions so quickly that it has become the top of planning and strategic plans in the legal community. The new solution tends to revolve around:
- Secure document storage
- Safe document signing
- Collaboration ability in real-time
- High-quality HD audio and video platform conferencing
Some legal firms understand correctly that the remote and hybrid working environments aren’t going away anytime soon. As a result, they aren’t even trying to get people back to the pre-pandemic period.
Adoption of Hybrid Work Style in the Legal Industry
In a recent Citi Survey of Firm leaders in the US, most reported they wanted attorneys back in the office at least three days a week. Many legal firm leaders agree that the hybrid trend is a solution that allows them to continue saving on operational costs.
The Citi report also found that adopting the remote-only environment damages the sense of belonging and personal relationships at workplaces. However, the hybrid work style cracks the right balance.
The Work Integration Software that Enables Secure Communication and Collaboration in the Legal Industry
Secure document signing, sharing, storage, HD conferencing, and real-time collaboration lead the way to keep law firms operational as they embrace remote and hybrid approaches. Law firms realized that the right technology would support all legal activities while cutting operating costs.
The perfect example of such technology is the combination of Microsoft 365 suite and Microsoft Teams. While many law firms use Teams and Outlook, most didn’t utilize the full potential of the platform that the combination offers. Companies have been missing out on the opportunity to:
- Share knowledge and expertise securely
- Collaborate securely with clients
- Reduce errors in operations
- Increase internal productivity
Most legal firms find they haven’t been utilizing the above functions while paying for the licensing of the technology.
Law Firms Go For Solutions, not Tools
Users in most leading legal firms show a preference for solutions and not tools. When implementing Microsoft 365, firms considered how their users will interact, learn and embrace the technology of the hybrid work environment.
More importantly, clients in the legal industry prefer modern, secure, and simple interactions. Many legal firms admit publicly their decision to use Microsoft 365 and Teams to deliver a secure, modern digital workplace.
Legal firms are combining Teams and Microsoft 365 in ways that ensure:
- Compliance with regulatory requirements
- Drive efficiencies
- Promote the adoption of a hybrid working style
Since Microsoft is offering specific solutions for the legal industry, law firms get solutions that offer:
- Top technology that is complete with inbuilt governance
- Document templates
- Document signing, sharing, and storage
- Real-time collaboration
- HD video and audio conferencing
All the solutions are linked to case management systems.
When a law firm uses third-party apps in its network, it can integrate them into Microsoft Teams to avoid going for multiple communication channels but perform all the necessary tasks in a single workspace.
For instance, nearly all law firms have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool apart from Microsoft Teams to manage accounts. Microsoft Teams allows you to integrate your CRM into its platform so that you can interact with it directly.
Another example is that you can integrate other tools that law firms use for collaboration and deal with clients.
OnPar Technologies Offers Solutions that Extends Microsoft 365’s Abilities to Fit Remote Working in the Legal Industry
We offer unified communication solutions that expand the ability of Microsoft 365 and Teams to create, structure, and store confidential information in the legal field. With Microsoft’s new solutions for legal firms, we can help you prepare a hybrid workplace.
At OnPar Technologies, we invite you to contact us to discuss how we can help you better serve your client, staff, and your community using Microsoft solutions for the legal industry.