Law in itself is a tradition. Its core values are built on it and it strives to uphold it, yet the way law firms operate is rapidly evolving.
The legal sector is embracing change, especially when it comes to the workplace. The change is needed to mirror the transformation that is happening within the way people work in general.
Law firms across the country are re-evaluating their workspaces and transforming their environments. They’re adopting fresh approaches and embracing new technologies to set them apart from their competitors. This helps firms appeal to both the forward-thinking clients and a new generation of employees.
ACS is a proactive participant in the evolution of workplace design and have been for over 23 years.
Jon Thorpe, ACS’ Joint Managing Director said, “We continue to develop our concepts and designs for the future legal workplace. We see a number of potential benefits to law firms as they implement new workplace strategies. These benefits include operational cost reduction, the facilitation of cultural shifts and continuous improvement of work processes. They also include better integration and use of new technologies; a continued emphasis on retention and training of the next generation of lawyers.”
Legal workplace trends at a glance
Offices are getting smaller
There has been a recent increase in the popularity of shared working spaces and environments that encourage collaborative and interactive working.
Workers are using their work spaces in different ways so they have new expectations when it comes to the working environment. This results in law firms having to rethink their workspace in terms of style and quality. They have to ensure they are catering to their employees needs.
The need to attract the latest legal talent
Generation Z have started to enter the workplace. This accelerates the need for law companies to ensure they have the competitive edge needed to attract the best employees. This is more important than ever before due to the shortage of young talent entering this industry.
There is a new wave of expectation when it comes to the world of work from young employees. 75% of the workforce will comprise of millennials by 2030 so there is no time to delay change.
Security is no second thought
Cyber Security and pricing are currently the top challenges to law firms. So, as the work place becomes more mobile, it is important that law firms have measures in place to protect client and case data.
Research reveals that 22% of respondents claim to have fallen victim to a security data breach because of a law firm. This is a 57% increase on the previous year. This highlights the need for legal companies to invest in measures to improve their clients’ security as a matter of urgency.
Take it forward with technology
The 2019 State of Future Workplace Tech report revealed nearly 30% of businesses are using Artificial Intelligence powered security solutions. This is a figure which is expected to grow more than 60% by 2020.
One in four IT professionals also believe that among emerging technologies, AI will have the biggest impact on business. AI technology has been built into law software for years, assisting with everything from research to automation. However, whilst once an expensive investment, prices are decreasing making it a more affordable option for smaller firms.
Mark Andrews, Head of IT Services at ACS said, “remote collaboration and online sharing technology have allowed for the rise of the remote lawyer”
“Employees desire a mobile environment to fulfil their functions in a space that supports their need for flexibility. New technological developments make mobility possible, thanks to tools like virtual law libraries, laptops, and smartphones. Making sure these items are provided as primary tools to employees has become critical for fulfilling their needs — and ensuring they stay productive.”
Connectivity is crucial
Developing technology and improved connectivity assists work productivity and takes the way law firms operate to a whole new level.
The essential establishment and cementing of relationships for a successful working partnership, is powered by reliable connectivity. The move towards 5G when it comes to mobile connection is one which will be welcomed by the legal sector. However, it is crucial plans are put in place when it comes to technology to support this so that the benefits can be fully leveraged.
In summary, the workplace changes seen within the legal sector are already emerging. It is a shift that should be embraced by firms which can take advantage of the range of improvements and new opportunities it brings with it. Whilst change is inevitable, growth is optional. Yet well-managed changes make the perfect foundation for excellent evolution and the legal sector can use this to its highest advantage.
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