Many lawyers have recently found themselves out of the office and working from home. If you’re settling into your new personal workspace, it’s vital to maintain the same workflow in order to meet the needs of your clients, colleagues, and your employer.
Staying on a regular schedule will help you remain focused on what is most important – your productivity. There are several things you can do to continue performing at the same pace that made you successful in the office and with the same dedication. Read on to learn how to stay productive while working at home.
Maintain a routine
How did you previously start your day? Try to keep that same routine while you work from home. Begin your day at the same time. If possible, keep a defined workspace that is away from other family members or distractions to ensure you remain focused and efficient. Also, consider still “dressing for work.” It may seem trivial, but it will help you stay in the right frame of mind.
It is equally important to maintain the same sort of non-work routine you’ve had in the past. Exercise, eat, and go to bed when you normally would. Even tasks as simple as that help maintain productivity and good health.
Ensure you’re still meeting business goals
Make sure you know your firm’s expectations while working from home. Time management, focus, and self-discipline are the keys to continuous success, just as they are when working in an office. The difference is, while working remotely, you may have to impose those boundaries on yourself.
For example, a litigator has strict deadlines set by judges, opposing counsel, and court rules. While working remotely, you must take that same approach. Setting your own deadlines will help motivate you to get your work done with the same level of efficiency that your clients expect.
There are many things you can do to help you stay on task. Use time management tools to set deadlines, block your calendar for uninterrupted time to work on specific responsibilities, and prioritize and delegate duties. Continuing business as usual helps productivity and assures clients can count on you and your firm even in uncertain times.
Stay connected with colleagues
It’s important to stay connected to colleagues while working remotely and to keep in touch with your team often. You can share ideas about how to get the firm’s work done efficiently, how to cut down on distractions, and how to keep motivated while working from home. Doing so can also help you continue to be productive should an issue arise or if you need a second opinion.
Technology will also surely play an important role during this work-from-home period. Become more familiar with your firms’ communication systems. Do you use a chat system such as Microsoft Teams or Slack to connect with your peers? Is there a way to see each other virtually via video? If there aren’t systems like these in place, there are a plethora of online resources and guides that can help your firm get up to speed quickly, if necessary.
Remain focused on your clients
Your clients’ needs don’t disappear when you’re working from home. Make sure they know you are still available by taking calls and returning emails quickly. Remaining accessible and addressing your clients’ needs as usual shows them that they are still a priority. Going that extra mile for them helps establish a level of trust that leads to greater client retention rates, and makes you stand out from your competition.
Continuing to follow the same rhythm you had in the office can also help you stay focused on the meaningful work in front of you, instead of the events outside. This not only makes you more productive but can also help you pass the time during a long workday.
Know when to stop working
The key to success is to not only know when to start working, but also what time you’re clocking out for the day. Establishing firm work hours helps with time management and informs your team of your availability. More importantly, being able to log off and “leave” your work will allow you to turn your attention to the things that matter to you personally, like family, friends, and hobbies. A healthy work/life balance will help you sustain your well-being and productivity in the long run.
This post was created in response to the COVID-19 virus and its impact on law firms. For more information to help support you and your business, visit our COVID-19 Canada Resource Centre.