Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been major disruptions to the global workspace. The sudden changes were felt especially in sectors where traditional processes and procedures prevailed, such as in the legal sector. Everyone from large law firms to small solicitors felt the shift, and soon the sector looked considerably different than before – for instance, virtual courtrooms became the norm, and soon most legal professionals were operating remotely.
Now, however, the threat of COVID-19 has somewhat lessened, but the impact it has had on sectors remains clear to see. A lot of professionals ultimately felt that working remotely, at least some of the time, was not only viable, but preferable. So, the trend of hybrid working has continued to grow, and more businesses everyday are making the change. We discussed the matter with a London-based tech company, TechQuarters, who specialise in small business IT support London based solicitors have used extensively over the 12 years the company has been active for.
Definition of Hybrid Working?
The hybrid model is the product of the business world reconciling two very different forms of working. Firstly, you have the traditional, on-premise work model; and secondly, you have the digitally-native remote work model.
Mixing these two approaches is what produced hybrid working, and for many businesses it has been a huge success – as it allows each individual in an organisation choose whichever work model works best for them. According to TechQuarters, who are a trusted IT Support Provider London businesses use, the split between individuals who prefer working from home, and individuals who prefer working in the office, has generally been about equal – and this is what led many business and tech leaders to saying that hybrid working was intrinsically tied to the future of business.
How Has Hybrid Working Changed the Legal Sector?
There have been a few significant adaptions within the legal sector to account for the disruptions of COVID-19. When individuals were unable to safely meeting in-person, new systems were put in place to accommodate for this. An example of this (which we mentioned briefly before) was the use of virtual court proceedings. As time went on and remote working began to morph into hybrid working, the use of virtual court proceedings did not go away, but it began to re-incorporate in-person meetings as well. For example, there have been accounts of legal arbitration occurring where the parties involved presented their evidences both virtually and in-person.
Other examples of the hybrid work model in action in the legal sector includes the use of videoconferencing to present evidence in court. Outside of court proceedings, solicitors may often use hybrid working technologies in their day-to-day line of work – such as meeting clients in-person, whilst meeting with colleagues and partners virtually.
Benefits of Hybrid Working for Solicitors
The hybrid working model has certainly been a major disruption in the legal sector, but it hasn’t been a complete nuisance. In fact, there are a number of desirable benefits from adopting a hybrid working model. When we asked TechQuarters, whose experience providing IT support for solicitors has placed them right in the sector as it was being disrupted by remote and hybrid work, they listed some of the benefits that they have seen. Location is not a problem either if you use online-based tools, even if you’re needing IT Support Croydon Solutions then the right tool will make a difference.
Many individuals found that remote working was very good for their productivity, while others felt better working in the office. Luckily, the hybrid model means everyone can choose their preferred (and more productive) way of working. In fact, Microsoft recently undertook a study based in Europe that stated hybrid working resulted in increased employee productivity for about 80% of the companies involved in the study.
Hybrid working can enable organisations to significantly lower their operational costs. For instance, if some individuals have chosen to spend their whole week working from home, the company can consider downsizing to a small office – as well as this a firm may be able to take advantage of a cheaper Wi-Fi tariff if fewer employees are using it in the office.