As remote working has now become the norm, a focus for many firms has been to see if there are better ways to increase productivity by enabling collaboration across teams, regardless of employee location.
Going beyond an individual simply being able to access their documents and emails, the next level of productivity is to review and ensure all parties can access, manage, and share documents, emails, and firm knowledge effectively, both internally and externally.
The most successful form of information management – whether lawyers are in the office, remote, or even offline in a courtroom or client site – is based on three main steps:
The first key part of enabling increased productivity is ensuring that all client work is in one secure, centralised place. Consolidation of systems reduces time spent filing and categorising. By having your document management system available inside an email interface, it provides not just document access but also the ability to file correspondence related to a case in the same place.
The second part of increasing productivity is being able to find knowledge, especially when remote working. Having an integrated system, with standard classification, allows lawyers to easily locate the documents or knowledge they need, and offers the ability to share information across internal and external teams – no matter how large the files are.
Additionally, using artificial intelligence to help organise and compartmentalise work is highly beneficial, as it helps to improve search results – reducing the time spent finding files and emails, and importantly reduces risk and increases efficiency by ensuring you are using the latest or most relevant assets.
The final step, and arguably the most important part of enabling increased remote productivity, is ensuring documents and emails are properly secured and governed.
Governing content or work in progress ensures that only individuals, who need to know, can see confidential client information. Clients expect firms to live up to their fiduciary duties by maintaining security and, more importantly, the destruction of assets as required by law.
The amount of data that every organisation is managing every day is growing exponentially, so the time to get a secure document management solution in place is now – not only because of the unclear timeframe for a full return-to-the-office, but because the longer a company waits to organise this information, the longer and harder the process of effectively managing data will become.
Once you have the solution in place, having a systematic approach to information management that allows these three steps to be done in an intuitive way will ultimately help increase productivity. It’ll also give firms the benefit of email and document management, knowledge management, and collaboration that works regardless of whether teams are in the office or remote.
Delaying this process will not only slow down productivity but is also potentially dangerous when the security of an organisation’s data is concerned. So, what are you waiting for? Take these steps to be more productive today.
This article first appeared in LPM.