Remote Working during Lockdown 2020! Immediate change for the long term?

How to turn the Lockdown into a positive by researching ways to make your business work smarter in the future.

For many firms, the idea of working from home is almost alien, certainly for more traditional practices that have always had their office/hub to work from. Almost overnight, the UK Government made rulings for people to work from home and the UK has had to adjust very quickly. Finding ways to make remote working benefit  your business is essential.

A lot of the adjustments are based around a company’s IT infrastructure, including the software it uses and the IT service provider it employs. Many companies have seen major disruption in these areas because their infrastructure is either out of date, or not being utilised properly. Having deficiencies in these areas can cause serious problems when trying to access data quickly and not being able to get into the office. This inevitably has a knock-on effect to client service.

The recent Government instructions have been somewhat of a “wake-up-call” for many firms to deal with their IT infrastructure deficiencies and many firms are in the process of looking into upgrades and different software options. The current situation also highlights areas for potential outsourcing too. There are many companies that can step in during a crisis like this to assist firms in areas which they are currently having difficulty with such as accounts/cashiering, typing/secretarial and reception/call handling.


The most important element through this difficult period is communication. Having regular meetings with staff is imperative especially when considering any changes like software/outsourcing. Using platforms like MS Teams or becomes very useful when utilised correctly and both are a very low-cost option for remote meetings. MS Teams is especially helpful with its direct messaging element and its centralised chat for all team members. It can also be used in conjunction with Sharepoint so that active file sharing which would normally be done on a server/emailed can be achieved with very little effort.

With the communications handled, it’s then time to look at software options and what suits the firm. If the software that the company currently uses is compatible with remote working where everyone can dial in with ease and see/use what they need to, then further disruption to that may not be the best course at this time. If, however the firm is struggling to view what is required, perhaps it is time to make a change. There are many options out there, and essentially a choice would be something which is very easy to access with good document handling properties and a solid accounts function. It’s also important to think about the processes surrounding the software choice ensuring that enough training has been done and maximising the selected package for remote working.


Outsourcing is another element to consider. Firms who provide outsourced services are usually very flexible and can provide ad-hoc cover, absence/sickness cover and work for the firm on a longer term/permanent basis. Companies like this are based on remote working and are very much prepared with their own systems and processes to streamline what is required. It is worth investigating if there are any areas of the firm that could be assisted by having an outsourced company working with you.

Look to the future

During all of this I recommend thinking not just about the current situation, but the future of the company. All the changes made during the current position can be beneficial to firms for the long term. Think about how opening the office for remote working, better software and communication through better IT infrastructure can help on an ongoing basis. Bear in mind that many of the options can be utilised on devices such as laptops, mobile phones and tablets giving the firm much better flexibility which can lead to higher productivity for the long term. Also, think about the possibility of having peace of mind, knowing that an experienced outsourced team is handling things like your accounts, typing and phone calls without interruption or disruption because they are designed to work remotely.

Treat these “unsettled times” as an opportunity to do something “unprecedented” for your firm and investigate how you can invest in better communication tools, modern software, and outsourced services for the long-term benefit of the practice.

Alex Simons
New Business Manager
The Law Factory LLP

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