Hybrid & Remote WorkSeptember 14, 2020

Collaboration in the New Workday: Success Factors for Firms

Team collaboration has a new face in today’s work environment, where remote work poses both challenges to and opportunities for a firm’s success. As more practices adapt to remote work or hybrid office environments, the need to collaborate effectively increases—and a firm’s bottom line can depend on it.

A growing need for collaboration

As some form of virtual work becomes a new normal for many law firms, there is a greater need to improve communication and collaboration among colleagues. Employees now need to adapt their soft skills to listen to colleagues, read body language and build teams—virtually.

According to a study from Queens University of Charlotte, about 75% of employees regard collaboration and teamwork as important. However, even before the recent increase in remote work, 39% of the respondents thought their company could collaborate more.

It is widely predicted that remote work is here to stay. Therefore, leaders need to move out of crisis management mode and learn how to keep their teams productive, engaged and collaborative as the average “workday” increasingly involves less in-person connection. Because many companies were already behind on collaboration, managers need to do even more work to catch up.

The financial impact of improved collaboration

The benefits of internal collaboration are richer, and more directly tied to profit, than one may think. A Deloitte study found that collaboration can save large organizations $1600 per employee per year and organizations of 50 employees over $80,000 each year.

During a crisis, the value of collaboration could be even greater. A Harvard Business Review study looked at collaboration in businesses during and after the 2007–2008 financial crisis. In one global law firm, whose results were typical of the companies in the study, the most collaborative partners grew business during the crisis and saw continued growth afterward. This is particularly noteworthy for firms finding ways to thrive today.

The study also revealed that companies that reduced collaboration not only saw lower revenue during the financial crisis but most did not fully recover from the losses even five years after the recession ended.

Technology to increase collaboration

Pre-pandemic, an Alfresco study found that 83% of employees surveyed rely on using technology for collaboration. Today, technology makes remote work possible for firms and enables collaboration that was previously reserved for in-person meetings or quick hallway chats.

By now, most firms are all too familiar with Zoom as a teleconferencing tool used for internal meetings, client intakes, interviews and more. Another tool growing in popularity among law professionals is Microsoft Teams, which employees use for instant messaging, collaborating, meetings and group chats.

legaltech news article says that a “spike in the use of collaboration applications and the creation of unique cloud source data has occurred…rapid adoption of tools including Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom and other communication platforms is quickly displacing email and changing the scope of corporate data forever.”

To speed up access to remote-enabling tools and collaboration technology, many firms are turning to cloud-based solutions. The importance of cloud in this transition is emphasized in a DevOps.com article that says, “everyone is looking to the cloud to reimagine businesses and make collaboration happen on an unprecedented scale, and the cloud has proven its ability to respond with speed while remaining robust.”

Enhance collaboration with cloud-based case management

One of the most fundamental tools firms are embracing today is cloud-based case management. Neos, a completely cloud-based solution, also offers full integration with a number of Microsoft’s cloud-based tools, including Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint. Through the Microsoft 365 integration, firms also have access to popular collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams.

Neos provides a variety of tools that make law firm collaboration easier and more efficient. For example, Neos document management powered by the Microsoft OneDrive integration allows your staff, and external collaborators that you give access, to collaborate and work on files simultaneously. Firms can also quickly and easily generate quick links to share documents. There is also built-in capability to prevent data conflicts when multiple staff members are working on the same case, and to let the user know that case information has been updated.

If your firm would like to learn more about how Neos can help enhance collaboration while remote or in the office, contact us for a demo or more information.


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