Updated: Jan 26
Reports have indicated that many workplaces will need to have some or all of their staff working from home. As we have seen recently, when a workplace is shut down, it happens quickly and preparation is necessary to ensure minimal disruption to your business. To help support you at this difficult time, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you prepare your staff and remain productive.
1. Stay informed
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the extensive media coverage of Coronavirus. It’s vital to ensure that you and your staff remain up-to-date with the current status of the pandemic with information from official and reliable sources. The Central for Disease Control provides regular updates on the status of Coronavirus with practical advice and helpful resources for employers. View the official CDC Coronavirus site here.
2. Take Inventory
With many organizations around the country already implementing alternative work policies in light of Coronavirus, have you considered what your firm would do if the need arose for your staff to work from home?
Now is the time to be prepared. Whether you’re a sole practitioner or are part of a large firm, you should take inventory to ensure that all staff have the capability to work from home. Have conversations with each of them to ensure they have the following:
Hardware – do each of your staff have access to the hardware they need to work as they usually would? Do they have a desktop computer, laptop or iPad that they can rely on?
Software – do they have all the necessary software installed on their device? You should confirm that your staff have installed (or have the capability to install) software like Microsoft Office, LEAP (including the Web Portal), and Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Phones – while most people have access to a phone at home, does your staff also have reliable cell phone reception? If they don’t, you should consider alternative communication methods like Microsoft Teams.
Internet – does your staff have access to a stable internet connection?
Workspace – while your staff may have the necessary tools to continue working from home, do they also have an appropriate space to work in away from distractions? A proper desk set-up with adequate lighting is important if your staff will be working from home for an extended period, particularly if they’ll be taking part in video conferencing.
3. Working from home with LEAP
Because LEAP is cloud-based software, it can be accessed from any supported desktop, laptop or mobile device it is installed on. However, it is important to remember that LEAP requires certain minimum system requirements to be met in order for you to take advantage of its cloud-based features. These system requirements include a minimum internet speed, available RAM and particular versions of Office 365.
Consider asking your staff to test that their home computers meet the system requirements now. This will help to avoid any hiccups setting up your computer when you begin working from home. You can find the system requirements for LEAP here or run a system audit to confirm that your computer meets system requirements by clicking here.
Once you’ve run the LEAP system audit, click here for instructions on how to install LEAP. If you require support setting up LEAP on an additional computer, our HelpDesk team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week ready to assist you. Simply log your case with the dedicated HelpDesk team or reach out via email to get started.
4. Maintain your client focus
You may be concerned about your clients while you’re out of the office. However, your client service does not need to suffer simply because you’re working from home. Don’t forget that you have tools like the LEAP Web Portal and LawConnect which are available to LEAP users at no additional cost.
The LEAP Web Portal allows you to provide concierge-level service to your clients anywhere, at any time. With online appointment booking, easy-to-view dashboards of the firm’s pipeline, and online intake forms that can be used to create LEAP matters, the Web Portal ensures that your firm serves your current clients more effectively and doesn’t miss out on potential clients.
Easily and securely share and collaborate on documents with colleagues or clients via LawConnect. Users can add comments and suggest changes to documents or request electronic signatures (eSignatures) using LawConnect.
If your firm implements a work from home policy or similar, you may like to update your clients to advise them of any changes to your arrangements or methods of communication with them. Your clients will appreciate this proactive approach.
5. Be prepared
Take this time to make reasonable and practical arrangements should the need arise for your staff to work at home or away from the office. Begin conversations with your staff now to avoid any confusion or a last-minute dash to organize things like additional hardware.
To help you prepare for working remotely, we’ve listed some links to help you get set-up:
The LEAP Community has how-to articles with step-by-step instructions across the majority of LEAP functions. It also has training videos, LEAP University courses, and webinars.
2. LEAP App
Download the LEAP App on your mobile device to unlock your mobile office. You can save images or voice notes for iOS and Android to your matters, send documents, time record, and more via the LEAP App. Instructions for downloading and accessing the LEAP Mobile App are available for Android and iOS. LEAP Users can now access the HelpDesk directly from the LEAP App.
3. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is used to communicate or meet colleagues and clients. If you have a Microsoft Office Business Premium subscription, you will also have access to Microsoft Teams. You can use Microsoft Teams to chat with colleagues or schedule online meetings via audio and video.
Microsoft Teams can be accessed online or it can be installed as a Desktop app on your computer. View the following PDF for a Quick Start Guide on Microsoft Teams. You can also download Microsoft apps from the relevant stores:
Android Device – Google Play Store
iOS Device – Apple Store
4. Adobe Acrobat Reader
If you expect to work with PDF files, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader DC installed.