Legal Technology | 5 min

Coronavirus and working remotely for law firms

March 13, 2020


In light of the ongoing challenges posed by Coronavirus in Australia, your firm may find it necessary to implement a work from home policy or similar. 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 Coronavirus with information from official and reliable sources. The Australian Government's Department of Health provides regular updates on the status of Coronavirus in Australia alongside practical advice and helpful resources for employers. You can view the official health alert here.

2. Survey your staff

With many organisations 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 survey your staff to ensure they have the capability to work from home. Have conversations with each of your staff 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, Adobe Acrobat Reader, MYOB and Xero.

  • Phones - while most people have access to a phone at home, do your staff also have reliable mobile reception? If they don't, you may like to consider alternative communication methods like Microsoft Teams.

  • Internet - do 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 Sydney-based LiveChat team is ready to assist you. Alternatively, LEAP also has a range of qualified IT partners in each state.

4. Maintain your client focus

You may be concerned about your client 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 LawConnect which is already built into LEAP and does not require any additional costs. LawConnect allows you to securely request signatures as well share and collaborate on documents with your clients.

If your firm implements a work from home policy or similar, you may like to consider communicating directly with your clients to advise them of any changes to your arrangements or methods of communication with them. Your clients will appreciate your frankness.

5. Be prepared

Now is not the time to panic. 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 early to avoid any confusion or a last-minute dash to organise things like additional hardware.

Helpful Links

To help you prepare for working remotely, we've listed some links to help you get set-up:

LEAP Mobile Download the LEAP Mobile and Microsoft apps on your mobile device to unlock your mobile office.

Instructions for downloading and accessing the LEAP Mobile App can be found below. LEAP Mobile App for Android LEAP Mobile App for iOS

Microsoft Office Apps You can download the Microsoft apps from the relevant stores.

Android Device Google Play Store Microsoft Word Microsoft Outlook Microsoft Excel Microsoft Teams

iOS Device App Store Microsoft Word Microsoft Outlook Microsoft Excel Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Communicate or meet colleagues and clients by using Microsoft Teams.

If you have 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.

Adobe Acrobat Reader If you expect to work with PDF files, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader DC installed.

Please click here to download Acrobat Reader.

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