With COVID-19 disruption spreading by the day, legal operations managers and in-house legal teams will need to adapt and react quickly. We take a look at some of the practical considerations.
Flexible or home-working is being widely implemented following lockdown across the UK. It’s key to ensure that clear workflow and communications systems are in place so that colleagues can work efficiently together even if they are not at the office.
Find a tech tool that allows everyone to stay in touch and see how projects are progressing, without the need to send an overload of emails. At Lexoo we use Slack, but Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp are good alternatives.
Make sure you check in on team members every day, by phone or video call, to see how they are feeling and keep their spirits up. Working at home can feel isolating if you’re not used to it, especially when general anxiety levels are high.
Check out our post on adapting to remote working for some more tips and tricks to keep things running smoothly.
Unusual levels of activity
Depending on the type of business, you may find you are either overwhelmed or you have very little to do.
If you’re experiencing much higher levels of demand than usual, prioritise carefully. Be realistic about what you can comfortably achieve, bearing in mind that you may have reduced staffing levels.
Make sure everyone in the business understands the capacity that the in-house legal team has and that they don’t have unrealistic expectations. If they know right from the start that things are moving slowly, they can plan accordingly.
Alternatively, if your team doesn’t have much work on, take the opportunity to get all of those other jobs out of the way that you normally don’t have time for. This could include checking and updating contracts and other standard documentation, refining systems and processes, professional development and training (online if in-person isn’t possible) and brainstorming, setting goals and looking at your ongoing strategy.
With people working remotely, good communications are vital.
You may be getting to grips with a new communications platform or be struggling to connect via an overwhelmed remote conferencing system, but try to keep in touch with your team and the other key personnel in the business as well as any outside contact you need to maintain.
Getting used to a new form of communication will be helpful for the future too, as working becomes more flexible.
Get in touch!
As the disruption spreads, what problems have you encountered and how have you dealt with them? Let us know in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.