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Retaining a culture of collaboration in a hybrid environment

Gia Tammone-Park

The days of everyone working together in one office are behind us. No matter your personal opinion on working in the office versus working from home, you likely have colleagues at your law firm who prefer to work remotely at least part of the time.

In fact, 55% of employees say that whether or not they can work flexibly will impact if they will stay in their jobs. Although it may seem counterintuitive to those who prefer traditional, office-based work, hybrid working arrangements can offer serious productivity benefits: 55% of employees are high performers when offered flexibility over where, when, and with whom they work versus 36% of those working 9 to 5 in the office.

Employees prefer hybrid work and are more productive when they can work flexibly. While the benefits of hybrid work are obvious, there are also challenges—most notably, the problem of retaining a culture of collaboration when everyone isn’t in the same room. Fortunately, with the right tools, your law firm can communicate, create documents, and close deals no matter where your team is working.

Communicate from anywhere

Communicating with colleagues from afar has never been easier thanks to the rise of instant messaging technology in the professional world. The ability to quickly exchange information is vital—especially when integrated with your existing document management system. The Microsoft Teams integration with iManage Work allows legal professionals to share documents securely from Work, while also providing the ability to save relevant Teams messages in the matter file along with documents and emails. This way, your matter file doesn’t fragment – and your communication can be secure whether you’re in the office or working from home.  

Create documents from anywhere

With colleagues working outside the office, flexible document collaboration options are more essential than ever. Lawyers need to exchange drafts, share updates and revisions, and manage document versions from wherever they are working. Storing files in on-premises facilities can make it difficult for lawyers working from home to access the documents they need. By using iManage Work in the Cloud, files can be accessed everywhere.

iManage Work also offers another key feature for legal professionals needing to collaborate from anywhere: co-authoring. With this capability, users can check out a document specifically for co-authoring to allow multiple people to work on it at the same time. No emailing back and forth. No waiting for someone else to check the document back in. Just seamless document collaboration no matter where you’re working.

Co-authoring also allows asynchronous communication. With more people preferring to work flexible hours these days, it’s vital that lawyers can author and edit documents at a time that’s convenient for them. Through comments and edits on a shared document, you and your colleagues can communicate even if you’re not working at the same time. 

Close deals from anywhere

In the past, deal closings required relevant parties to gather in one room and complete wet-ink signatures on seemingly endless paper documents. The process was time-consuming, prone to error, and required physical presence from all involved. In the world of hybrid work, the whole thing feels hopelessly out of date.

With iManage Closing Folders, you can close deals from anywhere. The closing checklist and documents are all digital, and signatures can be gathered remotely through PDF, DocuSign, or both. No matter where your colleagues are located, the deal can be done.

Harness the power of collective wisdom

Collaboration is the heart of knowledge work. Lawyers deliver better results when they can benefit from the wisdom of their co-workers, even when working in different locations. Learn more about how your firm can harness the power of your team’s collective intelligence and maintain your culture of collaboration in our webinar. 

About the author

Gia Tammone-Park