During the 2020-2021 COVID-19 pandemic, nearly every industry that could sent their employees home to work in isolation. While remote work was trending upward well before that, the forced move to home-based offices greatly accelerated the percentage of at-home workers, many of whom remain at home even as the pandemic subsides. Lawyers are no exception to this trend, and many have even found that they’re more productive working out of an at-home office than an actual office. Here’s why.
More Working Hours are Available
Attorneys who work at home don’t have to spend hours in traffic getting to the office. Also, because they are already home, they don’t have to stop working to make the commute home. This can give home-based lawyers up to four hours of extra working time each day and as many as 20 hours more each work week. Not to mention that many lawyers are type-A personalities who will work even on the weekends if the opportunity arises. When the work is at home, attorneys can access it at any time and get more done.
Traditional workplaces can be stressful for attorneys. There’s always someone wanting their attention for signatures, advice, or any number of other issues that crop up during the day. When a lawyer is working from home, though, anyone who wants their attention has to be purposeful about it. They will need to schedule a time to meet or for a call, which can cut down on the number of interruptions every day. Moreover, sometimes those interruptions aren’t really necessary and they simply won’t happen at all once it’s more difficult for a lawyer to be at their beck and call.
More Focus Time
There are also a lot of distractions at a law firm, from the general noise of an office to the ease of chatting with a colleague. These distractions just won’t happen at home (assuming family members aren’t present during the work day or the attorney’s office is well away from the busyness of the household). Attorneys won’t be tempted to leave their office, go down the hall, and talk with another lawyer about nothing work related. In fact, this doubles productivity because when that happens, two attorneys are unproductive instead of just one!
At home, an attorney can shut their office door, put on whatever background noise they prefer (or none at all), and get down to business. Those briefs will be typed up in no time and they’ll be able to take on even more clients than they could before. Certainly, there are still distractions at home, but when you’re working in a comfortable environment that you can control, you just get more done.
Of course, there are some disadvantages for working at home, particularly for attorneys, such as how they may appear in Google Maps. but they don’t appear to outweigh the positives because more lawyers are choosing to work from home every day. They just need to be careful about work-life balance since the work is always there and always available and they’ll have to make sure they are reachable for their colleagues and clients. They also need to know that Google doesn’t allow virtual spaces to be listed as offices and in fact, “It is against Google My Business guidelines to use a virtual office to create a Google My Business listing for your law firm.” So, just keep this in mind if you decide to work out of your home office.
Once those hurdles are overcome, working at home is a true win for any attorney.