As many firms continue to embrace a hybrid work environment, others are still on the fence. While fully remote and always in-office both have their advantages, a hybrid work environment combines the best of both arrangements. As firms seek to compete for top talent, improve work-life balance, and enhance their productivity, the advantages of a hybrid work model are becoming increasingly clear. Here are a few unexpected benefits of a hybrid work environment.
Attracting and Retaining Talent
In a competitive market for talented attorneys and staff, offering a hybrid work environment is essential. A 2022 survey conducted by Gallup with over 8,000 respondents found, “a mere 6% want to work entirely on-site going forward.” A hybrid work environment cuts down on commuting time and costs and improves your team’s work-life balance. This can be particularly beneficial for attorneys and staff who are working long hours or those with particularly long commutes who need to balance their work and personal lives. As the last few years have shown, attorneys and staff can continue to be productive, regardless of where they are working. By advertising a flexible workplace, firms will increase the likelihood of attracting and retaining top talent. On the contrary, firms with an on-site-only work policy will face much greater difficulty keeping and attracting new talent.
While technology, utilities, and office supplies can be costly, the adoption of hybrid work can help reduce these costs. With fewer people physically present in the office, there is a reduced consumption of both utilities and office supplies, resulting in cost savings for the company. Some firms have also opted to reduce their physical office space, accruing further savings. When it comes to technology, many firms allow their attorneys and staff to bring their own devices (BYOD). Implementing a BYOD policy reduces the overhead costs of purchasing computers, laptops, mobile devices, and more. While BYOD provides numerous benefits, it is important to implement a safe and effective policy.
When firms needed to work remotely at the start of the pandemic, cybersecurity came second to firms just being able to continue their operations outside of their offices. As such, some law firms were caught off guard and only did the bare minimum to secure their data. The lack of proper technology to protect attorneys and staff working from home led to many firms looking for a solution. Managed IT service providers (MSP) became an integral part of expanding a firm’s security beyond the walls of its office. Even now, firms continue to partner with reliable and reputable MSPs to enhance their cybersecurity and their firm’s IT as a whole. Hybrid work has seen many of these systems stay in place and have greatly increased cybersecurity awareness among law firms and their leaders.
While much of 2020 was spent navigating the transition to remote work, hybrid work is much more manageable and even comes with an apparent increase in productivity. A new study from the University of Birmingham shows that 76.5% of managers feel their hybrid employees are more productive than those who work solely in the office. The ability to work in a controlled environment can help attorneys and staff stay focused, while still maintaining a firm’s culture. With software such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom, your firm members can maintain a high level of collaboration, even when working from different locations.
Although the benefits of a hybrid work environment are undeniable, navigating all the ins and outs on your own is impractical. For an in-depth guide to maintaining and enhancing a hybrid law firm, view our latest whitepaper here.