Next month on the 16th of June I will be chairing a panel discussion at Legal Support Network’s conference on Transformation in the Legal Sector. One of the topics I will be challenging my panel of industry experts on is the topic of ‘Agile’ working. This is a particularly popular word in the legal world and the reasons for adopting it seem to differ depending on the angle you view it from. So from my research so far here and with a bit of tongue in cheek is how different people in a law firm perceive it:
The HR director
For the HR director Agile working is about attracting generation y and millennials to their firm. It is all about work life balance and ‘work when you want to’ culture. The agile worker dips into his work when he wants and (can you see the image…) probably is multi tasking at the same time, he/she is a legal entrepreneur unconstrained by the confines of corporate concrete they are ipaded up, tweets as he goes and eats sushi for lunch.
The Facilities Director
For the Facilities director agile working is about saving serious money. If we only provide 80% of the work stations we need and everybody is forced hot desk we save 20% of the floor space and this goes straight to the bottom line. Agile working is about leveraging the mobile revolution which means you can work from anywhere and keep billing long after the lights of the office are off.
The IT Director
For the IT director agile working is about rolling out loads of new toys to the business. New communication systems, Bring Your Own Device policies, cloud services and plenty of apps. Everybody in the business knows none of these will be adopted especially by the senior cohort but spending vast amounts on capital IT investment is what everybody else is doing so it must be right and after all its great fun.
The Opps director is desperate for agile working to work, he’s outsourced business services to the Philippines, outsourced due diligence to India, outsourced IT to Poland and now would like to outsource lawyering too…apparently robots can do much of the work now so who needs humans?
In short agile working means different things to different people in the business, but it is all about capitalising on efficiencies that are now available due to technological change. The ability to work securely from a remote location with tip of your fingers 24/7 access to the full suite of business services you may require increases a firms ability to serve a customer quickly and that drives business!
My business ComXo facilitates the adoption of these new working practices and the technologies that underpin them. Our 2 key capabilities are :
- We ensure, as your business becomes more global and complex, your clients experience of getting hold of your key people remains easy and a pleasure.
- We stop your fee earners becoming hampered by new processes and technology adoption by making access to key on demand business services easy. This enables fee earners to spend more time being a lawyer and less grappling with administrative tasks.
Agile working takes on many guises and has been around longer than you might imagine. As with anything the business that are adopting all types of ‘agile’ practices steadily as part of an evolution into the future are seeing more benefit than those who think an ‘agile’ revolution will be the answer to all their woes.