The events of recent years have driven dramatic changes in how and where we work. For some organizations, digital transformation simply accelerated to accommodate this shift, but for others, it meant a sudden step onto the first rung of that technology ladder. In many industries, these changes persisted as employees settled into working from home or have taken to a hybrid approach to using the office—and law is no exception. With a complex mix of working styles to accommodate, firms are looking for the best ways to securely support remote productivity while reassessing the role of the office.
Firms are becoming less reliant on a central office
PwC’s 2021 Law Firms Survey underscores this trend, and how firms plan to use the office in coming years. Nearly half of the UK’s top 100 firms expect to reduce their office footprint in the short to medium term, most likely due to more of their lawyers working remotely some or all the time. A further 21% reported that they “don’t know” what they plan to do with their office space, so there’s a chance that even more will choose a smaller footprint.
And how are those smaller offices likely to be used? Collaboration, client interaction, and learning and development all rank highly among the top 100 firms. Productivity, however, ranks much lower across the board.
It would seem, then, that leading law firms are embracing the idea that physical offices are primarily for people to meet clients, bond as teams, and continue their professional development. But the actual business of client work—the productivity side of things—can happen just as effectively outside the office.
There are real, practical benefits to reducing office use. Commercial rents and running costs are high, especially for larger firms with many employees, and scaling back their footprint can simultaneously cut costs and reduce environmental impact. Plus, firms can help employees cut out hours spent commuting and introduce more flexibility into their working day, allowing them to build a work-life balance that has been notoriously difficult to maintain in a law career.
Remote productivity in the cloud
However, high-quality legal work can’t happen in a remote environment without the right tools and support. Firms need to provide their teams with purpose-built technology that offers high performance, flexibility, and security. In PwC’s research, 90% of the top 100 firms see cyber-risk as the biggest threat to future growth ambitions, and that sentiment is likely echoed throughout the industry.
Cloud-native applications hold the answer to all these demands. Powerful, highly secure, and designed to adapt to different working styles, technology like Dragon Legal Anywhere enables legal professionals to be productive wherever their work takes them—whether that’s at home, their firm’s office, court, client offices, or even while travelling.
A solution designed for busy legal professionals
Purpose-built for solicitors, barristers, judges, paralegals, and other legal professionals, Dragon Legal Anywhere delivers highly accurate, legal specific speech recognition and citation formatting on any modern Windows PC. Strong user authentication, 256-bit encryption, and tight Microsoft Azure cloud security ensure all speech-processing is transacted securely, while enabling more efficient collaboration between your people.
It’s also an easily scalable, highly cost-efficient licence-based solution that can help legal practitioners dictate and transcribe simultaneously to reduce legal transcription costs—ideal if you’re reducing office space as a budget measure. Whether you’re a small firm choosing to rent a smaller office, or a major firm giving up an entire floor of a skyscraper, Dragon Legal Anywhere gives your leaders and clients peace of mind that they’re receiving high-quality legal work wherever the team sets up their desk.