Clearly, the current pandemic is without precedent, particularly for businesses. For this reason, we are often in uncharted waters making the most of its challenges to our client service, team morale and finances. However, the differences between Australia’s east coast versus west coast response to COVID conditions could provide WA law firms with some worthwhile options to consider in order to navigate more smoothly through 2022.
In fact, even deliver some silver linings in innovation!
The initial work in 2020 to work from home, safely and securely, was taken to a more sophisticated level in 2021. For FilePro, this has involved adopting a suite of new software applications which improved communication and collaboration within our team (Slack app), with our clients and other business partners, as well as managing client requests, development progress and much more. We also implemented a 30-minute daily huddle for our support team, to help with staff morale and efficient teamwork with support requests, triage, escalations etc. Not only did we gain more confidence in our team’s effectiveness and capabilities, humour and personality was added to our team’s day. This was a much needed element to relieve any stresses from working in isolation.
We had become somewhat comfortable in the video meeting/call space prior to 2020. However, the unprecedented mass-adoption of Zoom and similar tools has improved our ability to easily communicate, exponentially. By mid 2020, the legal profession had moved to Virtual court hearings. We have seen the rapid adoption of video conferencing applied to connecting with key people at existing client firms, collaborating in joint projects with partners and assisting firms that are considering a change of Practice Management Software. Being able to bring people together without the drawbacks of last-minute calendar changes, travel & accommodation etc. has been a game-changer and, in most cases, the experience is richer, especially with features like screen sharing.
We have been pleased to see how seamlessly staff at law firms have adjusted to on-line and video training, without sacrificing their learning experience. Video training sessions remain interactive for the most part and being able to learn from the comfort of your desk is practical and welcome by many. We have also found that recording ‘how to’ content using ever-improving software is immensely helpful. Producing bespoke content such as ‘welcome to day one of using FilePro – here’s what to expect’ has become valuable across many pillars of our business. Thought-Leadership webinars and large group zoom training has also been well received. FilePro’s online Learning Hub is filled with such on-demand content and our nearly 1,000 subscribed learners continue to consume this content at an increasing rate. The silver lining of this adoption is that consistent training and knowledge is now available to all our clients regardless of firm size, location, experience, role or time availability.
The need to work remotely has brought into sharper focus the risk of being hacked and files held to ransom. As a result, businesses are bringing forward the cloud versus inhouse server decision. In particular, there is a growing interest in and understanding of private hosted cloud environments, delivering accessibility benefits of the Cloud while mitigating the risks of malware attacks via third party software that your team may access in remote locations. Firms are also more educated in the benefits of housing all your software in a private cloud, fully protected environment. FilePro now offers an array of cloud and hosting options for our clients, so that they too can operate efficiently and securely from various locations and have the best possible performance from FilePro. A number of our clients are now relying on us to house their FilePro application and integrated software, meaning their FilePro experience is the best it can possibly be. There are fewer moving parts when fewer parties are involved.
The pen is now digital
The reality of working remotely saw the rapid uptake of digital signatures across the legal profession, overturning the saying that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword.’ Through services such as FilePro’s integrated DocuSign functionality, there is a greater level of comfort, and indeed expectation, that documents will be executed securely via digital options.
Due to our ongoing investment and evolution, we continue to be well positioned to work with firms on their specific requirements while providing high service, choice and quality of products. And now, as the ‘Hermit State’ starts to reopen and our experience is more aligned with the rest of the world, our clients can be confident that our relationship will continue to thrive.
As always, if you would like to know more about anything mentioned in this article, we will be happy to hear from you!