Support for hybrid work models in law practice management software

As law firms navigate our post-pandemic world, it’s important that we have more conversations about the need for hybrid work models and law practice management software. In many cases, law firms were forced to adopt a new work environment overnight at the onset of the pandemic. During this fight or flight period, some law firms were able to navigate this transition with little downtime or disruption to their business. However, many law firms are still struggling with hybrid work models and creating operational efficiencies that allow staff to succeed while increasing profits.

In this webinar, PracticePanther VP of Marketing Mayowa Oyebadejo and Senior Account Manager Brian Gomez discuss how to leverage hybrid work models, legal practice management platforms, and innovative processes to deliver leading customer experiences that retain and attract new business. while simplifying your operations.

What are the different types of hybrid working models? (3:34)

Unlike traditional work models, hybrid work models are designed to be flexible and can adapt to any business. From sole proprietorships and small firms to large attorneys, there are 5 different hybrid working models you can start implementing in your practice.

Types of hybrid working models:

  • Office first: it’s the most traditional and resilient to where the industry is heading right now. Staff would be required to be in the office most of the time, with remote working being the exception or a benefit.

  • Split week: By far the most common type of hybrid work model, it allows for a specific amount of time when all staff are in the office or working remotely. An example of this would be a Tuesday-Thursday office schedule with staff working remotely on Monday and Friday.

  • Week by week: This model allows staff to alternate weeks when they are in the office or remote throughout the month. Law firms using this model typically use business needs or busy seasons as a guide to assess where staff are assigned.

  • Designated hybrid teams: depending on the composition of the staff (administrative assistants, finance, IT, etc.), some teams would have the possibility of working remotely while others, depending on the sensitivity of the tasks, would work in the office.

  • At will and remotely first: this is another common hybrid working model that some law firms are likely moving towards. This would allow coworking spaces, but staff would prioritize working remotely.

How do I choose the best hybrid working model for my business? (7:42)

Now that we’ve identified the different types of hybrid work models, the real work is deciding which is best for your business. It will take some planning, but it’s important to start by assessing the condition of your office. This can be achieved by asking yourself a few simple questions about your people and how the model would benefit their success while creating processes that improve business efficiency. Here are some questions you will want to address in your assessment:

  • What are your staff comfortable with?

  • What aspects of your business could be affected or improved?

  • What are the financial implications for your business?

Once you have an idea of ​​your business and staff needs, you can start experimenting with the model. As we mentioned earlier, hybrid working models are designed to be adaptable. It is important to test the model and then evaluate the performance. Integrating this experimental period from the start will allow your company to create a more sustainable hybrid work environment in the long term.

In a recent study conducted by the American Bar Association, 76% of lawyers responded that they favor remote or hybrid work models. That’s over 30% compared to pre-pandemic responses. This indicates that while lawyers have been forced to embrace remote and hybrid working due to the pandemic, they have realized substantial benefits and longevity in these types of work models. The top benefits noted by lawyers include increased productivity, work-life balance, labor demand, and client satisfaction.

It is important to note that these benefits could not be achieved without the use of technology, such as law practice management software or LPMs. Lawyers can work freely from anywhere, creating a better work-life balance, which is often a concern in the fast-paced legal industry.

This advantage also serves as a tactic when it comes to hiring and competing for talent. With 49% of Millennials and Gen Z responding they would quit their job if remote work is not permitted, it is imperative that law firms begin to consider hybrid working models as a tool to retain and attract staff or risk losing valuable talent. The same goes for retention and generating new business. Client demand for legal services and digital processes has increased due to the resources available online. Law firms reluctant to expand into the digital space may experience a decline in business.

Why are some law firms struggling with hybrid working models? (21:06)

The risk associated with not adopting a hybrid working model that we often see is business disruption, competition in the labor market and a decrease in new business. Despite these risks, law firms still have these common concerns:

  • Security Risks and Maintaining Compliance

  • Onboarding staff to new processes/systems

  • Effectively manage staff

  • Collaboration between departments

  • Workplace culture

Many of these concerns stem from a lack of understanding of technology and the power of law practice management software.

Margie D. Carlisle