“Are you still there?”, “Sorry, I was on mute”, and “Is that your dog?” are now probably part of your daily work interactions. There is a steep learning curve when it comes to remote work. EMR Discovery has been working remotely with clients across the nation for years, and we thought sharing some of our favorite tips, tricks, and tools would be helpful.
The barking dog / screaming kid
Working from home can be challenging when your partner, kids, and pets are all together under one roof during normal work hours. Replicating an office-like atmosphere to conduct conference calls or case reviews becomes tricky. If possible, designating workspaces that are separate from your personal “home” space can help put you in work mode. If you are sharing your home with multiple people, set-up a time each morning to walk through your schedules for the day to prevent overlapping conference calls in the same small space or to enlist support in keeping pets out of the room for especially important calls.
For some, switching back and forth between personal and work life may be ideal, while others rather lock themselves in their home office and work consistently through the day. As your household settles into a new routine, your ideal work from home situation is probably a work in progress. Remember to be flexible and kind to each other as everyone navigates new work environments. And don’t forget to mute when you’re not the one speaking on the conference call!
Rediscovering Microsoft Office, and so much more
The once-ignored Microsoft Office app, Microsoft Teams provides group chat to stay connected. Not only can the memes and emojis lighten the mood, but the platform improves firm collaboration on cases. Document sharing platforms like Box keep discovery organized, reduce the need for busy emails and offer document versioning control. For anyone that needs help getting set-up for remote work, Teamviewer provides support staff with remote access to install and troubleshoot necessary software without you touching a button.
Several attorneys have been using Zoom, a popular video and teleconferencing app, to proceed with hearings, mediations, and depositions. Zoom’s screen-sharing functionality is particularly useful when sharing exhibits during a deposition or reviewing documents as a team. Zoom also provides separate meeting rooms that could be used in mediation. There are several options to keep you connected with your team and stay on track, the key is finding what works best for your firm.
Knocking out the backlog
With court dates postponed and in-person meetings stalled, firms have been refamiliarizing themselves with cases. The work previously put on the backburner is now front and center, including reviewing discovery, determining responsiveness, and creating the next set of discovery requests or follow-up correspondence. Firms are finding answers to case questions and support for issues as they dig deeper into discovery they have not had a chance to thoroughly review. Now is a great time to write those motions/briefs, hold virtual conferences, and get advice on open items.
One final note
Medical Malpractice attorneys are facing a unique set of circumstances during these uncertain times. Clients have volatile health conditions and defendants include front-line care providers. Switching to a remote work environment can be another challenge to overcome, but it can also be an opportunity. Incorporating new apps and features into your firm’s processes today might lead to greater productivity in the future. EMR Discovery is here to support firms with remote-work tips or backlog-tackling ideas.