A changing world around us, both inside and outside of business, has major implications for the legal sector. Client demands are evolving as they face the economic turbulence on the horizon post-pandemic. At the same time, they expect ever higher levels of service and professionalism, and have plenty of options to choose from in what remains a highly competitive marketplace.
Legal firms therefore must evaluate their operations and respond in the right way in order to win new clients and keep hold of existing ones. Technology has an important part to play in making this happen, but this goes far beyond client-facing work and includes everything behind the scenes, especially within the how, where and when of the work each employee does every day.
Workspace technology can be hugely beneficial to organizations in the legal space in meeting new demands, and there are four vital reasons why:
Efficient workforces get more done, faster
Employees in law companies are used to heavy workloads and long hours, as well as responding to both internal and external pressure. In these circumstances, anything that can be done to support their productivity and make them more efficient is win-win for employee and company alike.
The flexible ways of working forcibly adopted by most businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic have proved popular with many employees. As a result, the long-term future of office work may well incorporate a ‘hybrid’ set-up, whereby employees blend office and home-based work in a way that fits in with their wider lives.
Employers should support this as the benefits it gives to employees’ work-life balance will make them feel more trusted, better rested, happier in their jobs and therefore more productive. Workplace scheduling technology that supports seamless transitions from home office to shared office workstation and back again is a key enabler here.
Clients still expect the office ‘wow’ factor
When clients pay good money to a law company for its services, they expect the highest levels of professionalism. And while video calls may do the business from a functionality perspective, connectivity problems and background views of kitchens aren’t a good look. Because of this, physical meeting spaces still have a real purpose in the legal businesses of tomorrow.
Workspace management solutions can ensure that every single part of arranging a successful, slick meeting can be taken care of with ease. Meeting space reservation, invitations, presentation equipment, video conferencing equipment and even the booking of catering can be controlled on a single platform and put together in minutes.
Flexible working cuts real estate costs
A changing working model doesn’t just deliver benefits for employees.
It has huge potential to transform bottom lines for employers in lower real estate costs, especially for legal firms who often pay top-dollar for the most stylish and attractive offices in the most high-profile locations.
If a workforce is operating flexibly, then there is no longer a need for each one of them to have their own dedicated desk in the office. A more efficient alternative is to reduce the total workstation count, and make them available on a ‘shared’ basis where employees can book the workstation (or meeting room) they need in advance for the specific time period they need it.
A workspace scheduling solution can take care of this with transparency and simplicity: every bookable space has its own schedule, which every employee can see in real-time and then make reservations accordingly. Mobile app integration improves accessibility even further by making spaces bookable while employees are on the move.
Technology is a market differentiator
Compared to other sectors that are largely office-based, some parts of the legal profession have been slow to embrace the potential of technology and digital transformation. But no longer can this potential be ignored, and not only because it can help deliver the quality outcomes clients are looking for.
Even amid the likely economic difficulty post-pandemic, talent in the legal profession is highly prized. Star employees are aware of their market value, and as a result, they will still call the shots in who they work for. Many of them – especially younger employees – will place great stock in flexible working that’s supported by tech, and will bear this in mind when evaluating a potential new employer, or whether or not to stick with their current one.
Companies that can demonstrate a proactive attitude around technology, working models and the new world of work as a whole will be in pole position to recruit and retain the best talent around.