How well does remote IT really work for law firms after more than six months of working away from the office? Law firm administrators, managing partners, and IT pros have asked their outside technical experts hundreds of questions during this time. Security, productivity and general IT tools seem to be the most important. Below are answers to some of the most common questions.
Is remote IT a long-term trend or an emergency approach?
Remote IT has grown in importance in recent years. This has been mainly made possible by technologies and tools such as cloud-hosted systems and remote access / control technologies that an IT person can work with regardless of location. Even before COVID-19, there was a trend towards a remote IT workforce that will continue.
For many law firms – even in times without a pandemic – there are many benefits to having IT professionals outside of the company, including less office space needed to house IT teams and potentially longer support times as IT teams are often over several time zones are distributed or have an extended offer – request help.
What are the biggest challenges in managing a remote IT workforce?
Every person has a unique situation when working remotely and we no longer have a unified environment and technology. Some people have children at home, which can add extra background noise to calls, distractions from concentrating on work, and in some cases, deterioration in internet access. Some users may not have dedicated workspaces in which to replicate their office technology setup. This could make them less efficient and effective.
Being flexible and understanding each person’s individual situation, understanding the distractions inherent in working remotely, and trying to maintain the same level of safety, productivity, effectiveness, efficiency, and quality are the greatest challenges. Maintaining effective teamwork, collaboration, and inclusion are important.
What metrics should law firms consider to measure the performance of their remote IT staff?
Working remotely has its challenges, such as unexpected interruptions, home dynamics, and flexible schedules. Measuring productivity or utilization requires documenting the time spent on individual tasks, not just the time spent on work in general.
Tracking productivity or utilization helps a company understand how the team is spending their time, being efficient and productive. However, this does not measure the quality of the work done. Satisfaction surveys are a great way to track quality. Implement satisfaction surveys consistently and use the same questions so your company can track quality over time and address concerns as they arise.
What are the most effective tools and strategies that can be assigned to a law firm’s remote IT staff?
Tools that allow remote IT workers to easily access software and systems are critical to a productive IT workforce. These remote access tools should enable the IT team to be just as secure and productive no matter where they work. Some of the most effective strategies include providing a space for remote working with no possible distractions, creating a quiet environment, mimicking the in-office technology setup, and following a routine schedule.
Is security a major disadvantage when building a temporary or permanent remote IT workforce?
Security is an important consideration when working remotely, and remote workforce should be just as safe as personal workforce. Several additional factors should be considered in building a secure workforce, such as: B. Device management and control, secure remote access, and policies to ensure that unapproved devices are not directly accessing law firm resources. Implementing these measures takes additional time and money, but is required to build a proper, secure remote IT workforce.
Can a remote IT worker ever be as productive as an on-site team?
Working remotely full-time can be just as productive as personal activities. Some IT staff functions have traditionally been better suited to face-to-face collaboration, such as: For example, a help desk or a tightly coordinated team of employees, and remote working may never accurately reproduce that experience. The personality of the individual also plays a role, as some people work better with others personally and some do better alone. Collaboration tools are essential for bringing people together virtually and mimicking a personal experience as closely as possible.
Is there any way to find out if the tools in place for the remote workforce, such as B. the collaboration with apps, be taken over and help the employees?
Absolutely. There are a number of different ways to verify adoption and compliance when using collaboration tools. These tools usually have some sort of logging device in place as documents are created and modified, and some even have metrics on usage and engagement. Management should also check with each employee about such tools to ensure they are being used. Additionally, they should discuss any challenges with the tools or any suggestions on how the tools can work better for the team.
Is remote IT the first step in moving to a fully automated IT environment?
There are many robust automation tools for IT, such as: Examples include proactive problem detection and resolution, system patching, and scripting tasks that are normally performed by one person. These tools have been around for many years and their functionality is constantly increasing. The transition to a remote IT staff is a huge step forward in changing the IT landscape and skills and will make way for future IT automation. However, IT staff perform many functions that may never be automated.
As of early 2021, a remote IT workforce will continue to be a reality. With the right tools, security practices, and a continued dose of patience, law firm IT departments can continue to be productive regardless of where they work.