Telework or face-to-face work? Pros and cons
With the arrival of the pandemic, law firms have had to update their way of working and adopt teleworking taking into account its pros and cons
The distribution of human capital and workforce is a fact that is affecting hundreds of companies today. Law firms are no exception. The legal sector has adapted to the pandemic and the rise of digital transformation and has normalised remote working and the hybrid model of face-to-face and teleworking.
The repeated question in many organisations is: will remote working survive?
Numerous studies confirm that employees are in favour of being able to work from home. According to an interview conducted by the international firm CBRE, 85% of participants are interested in working from home two to three days a week.
In turn, this survey provides interesting analyses: more than 90% of the participants (employees and managers) consider that remote work increases productivity. On the other hand, 60% also consider it beneficial to return to the office, the main reasons being increased collaboration and the fostering of a sense of community among employees.
The survival of telework can bring a completely different paradigm to the one experienced before the pandemic: the infinite possibility of recruiting talent. This means that, by eliminating the need for workers to be present in person, law firms will be able to recruit new lawyers who live in different cities or countries.
While it is true that by working remotely, firms have to distribute technological equipment to their workers (computers and applications), they save a cost by maintaining large offices, as well as saving a large amount of travel (either in the movement of workers from their homes to their offices, or to attend meetings).
Despite all the benefits of teleworking, there are also uncertainties:
Lack of human connection
If several or all employees were to work from home, this would imply that meetings would be held telematically, which poses a risk to communication between co-workers.
Lack of technological training
Everyone will know how to work from home, but there are technological tools that they may not have mastered or mastered to perfection. Especially those that rely on Artificial Intelligence or blockchain. Employees need to be trained beforehand.
Lack of feedback
Relationships between employees in the same organisation are mainly based on trust and respect. For managers, it is essential to know how their employees are doing, how productive they are and how they can help them to be better professionals.
With teleworking, it is possible that the trust and closeness that group or individual face-to-face meetings can provide has been lost. Direct and impromptu communication is lost, which is a problem for managers in the long run, as it is more costly to know the real mood of their employees.
The challenges exist in all firms, whether they establish a remote or face-to-face working regime. It is up to managers and department heads to ensure, in any case, full communication and coordination between all employees.
New technologies make it possible to work from different parts of the world, but they must also ensure that teams are humanely connected.