Work From Anywhere – It’s Not the Same as Work From Home
In the wake of the pandemic, Work from Anywhere (WFA) has become a buzzword for many industries, and with good reason. Hybrid working allows for more flexibility and a better work-life balance while still allowing individuals to be productive and efficient in their jobs.
However, for attorneys, WFA is nothing new. In fact, it's been a necessity of the job long before COVID-19. And this is especially true for those who deal with trial work, tax and estate planning, and business planning.
However, just because working outside the office has been a signature feature of the industry for some time doesn't mean the industry always gets it right. Technology advances quickly, as do our environments. As a result, we must revisit whether our technological solutions are meeting our needs right now and whether they will continue to do so in the future.
With this in mind, let's explore the difference between WFA and Work from Home (WFH) and dive into the factors law firms need to consider when implementing or continuing to practice WFA.
WFH vs. WFA - Why Industry Matters When Making Policies and Choosing Technology
When we talk about remote work, it's important to distinguish between Work from Anywhere and Work from Home. WFA means that professionals can work from anywhere they're needed, whether at a client's office or from a hotel room during a business trip. WFH, on the other hand, refers specifically to working from a remote location, typically from home.
For attorneys, the distinction between WFA and WFH is crucial because their work often requires them to meet clients outside of their firm's office or to work while on the go.
The ability to work from anywhere enables attorneys to be more responsive to their client's needs while also giving them the flexibility to balance work and personal life. And critically, understanding the difference between WFH and WFA is essential for law firms to create effective remote work policies and choose the right tools (the ones that meet the needs of their attorneys and clients alike).
Choosing The Right Tools for Your Law Firm
How do you choose the right tools to support WFA? With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Still, it’s an essential task.
Choosing the right tools can mean the difference between a successful WFA implementation and a failed one. The right tools can increase productivity, streamline communication, and make collaboration across remote teams more efficient. On the other hand, using outdated or inefficient tools can lead to frustration, decreased productivity, and even security breaches.
When selecting tools for your firm, it's essential to consider the specific needs of your team and the nature of your work. For example, the size of your team, the types of cases you handle, and your firm's overall workflow are key considerations here.
But what are some specific tools law firms should consider if they're looking to implement or strengthen their WFA capabilities? Let's look at the most important Line of Business (LOB) Applications.
- Case Management Software: This software allows law firms to manage their cases and clients from a centralized location. With case management software, lawyers and staff can easily track case details, deadlines, and documents on the go.
- Practice Management Software: Practice management software is a comprehensive tool that includes features like time tracking, billing, and accounting. This software can help law firms manage their finances, as well as streamline administrative tasks.
- Accounting Software: Accounting software is crucial for law firms to keep track of their finances, including invoicing, expenses, and payments. With accounting software, firms can ensure that they are meeting all legal and financial obligations.
- Document Management Software: Document management software allows law firms to store, organize, and retrieve documents from a centralized location. This can help ensure that all team members have access to the most up-to-date information.
- Time Management Software: Time management software is essential for tracking billable hours and ensuring accurate invoicing. With time management software, lawyers and staff can easily track their time no matter where they're working and ensure that they are accurately billing clients.
In short, selecting the right tools can ensure that your team is equipped to work efficiently and securely, no matter the location.
What You Should Consider
There's no shortage of flashy tools out there that promise to boost efficiency and make employees' lives easier. However, these tools don't always deliver their promised results. Why? Because more tech doesn't necessarily mean more efficiency. Simply adding more technology without a strategic approach can increase complexity and negatively impact overall productivity. We go deeper into this topic in Tech-Enabled Efficiency For Law Firms.
But beyond choosing technology that aligns with your business needs and maximizes efficiency, law firms also need to consider the security of any solutions they implement.
Small and medium-sized law firms are now the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks, with breaches in law firms with under 50 attorneys having doubled in recent years. And the costs of falling victim to a cyber-attack are severe. The average cost of a data breach for smaller law firms is a whopping $36,000. Let's not forget that breaches come with reputational costs too. As business magnate Warren Buffet famously said, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."
With this in mind, secure remote access is essential for law firms looking to implement WFA policies. By using secure virtual private networks (VPNs), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and zero-trust approaches, law firms can ensure that only authorized personnel can access their networks and data.
Similarly, law firms are subject to a range of compliance requirements, including regulations related to data privacy and confidentiality. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in severe penalties and damage to the firm's reputation.
A Technology Partner That Understands the Importance of WFA
When it comes to implementing WFA policies and choosing the right technology tools, law firms need a partner they can trust. LammTech is more than just a tech company - we are a strategic business partner that understands the importance of WFA for law firms as well as the unique challenges small law firms face.
With our expertise in technology management, LammTech can help law firms choose the right tools for their needs and ensure that they are implemented securely. Realize your WFA goals faster and with confidence.
About the Author: LammTech
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