With the current situation continuing across the globe, remote working is something that has become a normal part of our lives. For many of us, the lack of an office set up has led to a lapse in routine and productivity. We’re going to look at essential tools to give your legal team a needed boost and create the most efficient virtual collaborative workspace possible.
Collaboration is a familiar phrase in the workplace, and even before remote work we often found ourselves emailing a colleague to ask for assistance, or for an update on how they’re getting on. Finding effective team collaboration software is vital to boost efficiency in your law firm and to maximise workflow.
Video conference tools
Choosing an efficient video streaming software service is a good place to start. Some of your workers will find it difficult to focus on their tasks first thing in the morning. When you combine this with the lack of an office environment, the result is an unstimulated worker. A virtual group meeting in the morning can be ideal for boosting the team morale and setting out an action plan for the day. It also creates an inclusive space for employees to feel heard.
These meetings must have structure and not eat into vital work time. Questions may also be answered during the morning meeting, to ensure any issues are ironed out before work starts. Software like Zoom is a good video conference tool option.
The right Software
The next step in creating your virtual collaborative workspace is to choose software. An important feature to look for is the ability to create and assign tasks. Employees will need a dashboard, where they can view all their assignments, a to-do list and each piece of work will have a deadline. This allows management to monitor progress, delegate if necessary or assign additional work. Monitoring progress ensures errors are caught swiftly, managers know how work is progressing and they can give feedback to their staff when they need to.
Another useful feature for a legal firm is status reporting. Team members can use tags such as ‘in progress’, ‘need assistance’ or ‘completed’. These status updates can be viewed by other team members and managers and action taken where necessary. Status reporting simplifies workflow management.
Keeping the conversation going
Group conversations are a useful tool in a virtual collaborative workspace. Even when you’re not working remotely, it’s difficult to find the time for everyone to gather together to discuss individual projects.
You can use an external (if your chosen software doesn’t already have one) instant messaging services, such as Slack or other alternatives. It will enable a constant flow of communication between management and employees. Any questions can be asked and answered swiftly. Group messages can be created for quick updates on the status of a project. Look for features such as the option to ‘pin’ certain messages, or ‘search’ which allow you to look through historical messages.
Another feature to look out for is the softwares’ ability to share files and images. This is an important feature for team collaboration as it ensures that the most updated version of files are always used and real-time edits can be made, such as in Google Docs.
Real-time notifications ensure messages or questions don’t get forgotten about. While working at home, the number of emails and messages we write and receive increases drastically and important information can get missed. Real-time notifications, pop-ups, or push notifications can ensure the most urgent questions get seen to first and nothing is missed.
As stated above the most vital features to look for in software range from task lists, management tools and real-time notifications to viewing employees to-do lists. While there are plenty of collaboration software options to choose from, deciding on one that has all the features your law firm needs, will create an effective, productive, virtual collaborative workspace for your law firm.
If you need advice on what software is suitable for your law firm, contact us today and one of our experienced team will talk you through the options.