When people think of lawyers, they often perceive suited and booted professionals working from expensive offices surrounded by leather-bound books and dark wood. But the world has changed, and the profession has evolved to meet the demands of both employees and clients.
According to recent figures, more than 1,000 lawyers in the UK now work remotely. The research by accountants and business advisory group Hazlewoods highlights how these lawyers are working in practices which operate outside the traditional firm environment (so-called platform firms).
While these types of firms are still in the minority, the business model has increased by 29% to 1,035. In some cases, these lawyers are self-employed and work remotely using a range of shared services.
A growing trend
Of course, with 140,000 practising solicitors in England and Wales, we are still a long way off seeing the legal sector fully embracing mobility. But as the rest of the world turns to flexible and mobile working, the trend for lawyers to take control of how they work is only going to increase.
There is no doubt that the traditional legal sector has faced its share of challenges over the last few years. And with a 2016 report by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) finding that competition in legal services for individual consumers and small businesses was not working well, this new way of working could enable lawyers to reduce costs, embrace flexi-time and provide their services at a time and place that better suits their clients.
At the same time, by setting their own hours and working remotely, lawyers can also look after their own wellbeing and work/life balance.
The right technology is key
However, to be successful, having the right technology in place is critical. This includes things like video conferencing tools, instant messaging apps and cloud-based systems.
Indeed, cloud-technology makes remote work simple and possible, so it is crucial when it comes to helping lawyers to work with greater agility and flexibility. This includes tools such as cloud-based practice management systems, SaaS, cloud-powered hosted desktops and online client portals.
When it comes to investing in the right technology to facilitate working away from the office, the good news is that this doesn’t have to be expensive, especially with cloud-based subscription models.
Find out more about how our cloud-hosted desktops can help your legal business become more competitive, more secure, and more productive. All while saving you money.