MS Teams is a popular collaboration tool for distributed firms, but did you know it also enhances productivity?
Legal service delivery is changing rapidly. In the Distributed Firm, where firm members regularly work offsite, managing internal communications and efficient work can be challenging. Ensuring the productivity of remote workers is often a primary concern.
Forward-thinking leaders are recognizing this as an opportunity to improve the practice with new and existing technologies that enable them to maximize productivity and also attract top talent and maintain quality client service.
MS Teams is an online platform that brings distributed teams and their documents together, improving productivity in five key ways:
1. Effective Communication
Firms can organize their communications by partner or practice groups to keep everyone connected and focused on common outcomes. Managers can engage with their teams regularly by tagging them, posting instructions, providing additional clarification and following up on the status of projects.
MS Teams enables firms to conduct organic conversations in a number of ways, including discussion threads, live chats or audio/video calls or screen sharing, all of which contribute to a more engaged, productive team.
2. Instant Matter Context
Within each Team, client matters can be organized into separate channels, where conversations and documents are preserved in a linear structure, all in one place.
Firm members no longer have to scroll through long chains of emails to retrieve relevant messages and documents: MS Teams replaces email as the firm’s internal communication hub, delivering instant matter context at-a-glance, enabling team members to switch between concurrent matters while greatly improving efficiency.
3. Efficient Document Review
One of the more powerful capabilities of MS Teams is its facility for live, collaborative document review. Two or more members of a team can log in and share screens to review documents or make edits at the same time. They are able to see each other's changes in real-time while discussing them over a Teams audio/video call or chat window.
The time-consuming, back-and-forth review process is consolidated, and delegation is more effective, speeding up document creation.
4. Document Workflows
With employees accessing files from different locations and devices, establishing workflows within Teams and across other applications is a crucial measure for ensuring quality of work in the Distributed Firm.
MS Teams can integrate with a Windows file system or, for those with large volumes of documents, more robust document management software such as Worldox. Firm members can efficiently check documents back and forth between their file system and MS Teams in one seamless workflow, ensuring versions are preserved and documents can be efficiently retrieved.
5. Document Mobility
MS Teams enables firm members to open, review, edit and create MS Office documents on any iOS, Android, Mac or PC device. Even its collaboration features, such as simultaneous editing and screen sharing, can be done outside the office or on a mobile device.
Firm members have the flexibility to access, create and manage documents from any location, enabling them to be productive in almost any scenario.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, MS Teams has been in the spotlight for its powerful collaboration features, a significant benefit for the Distributed Firm.
Innovative firms are recognizing that these features can be leveraged to engage employees, improve internal communications and enhance document workflows, contributing to enhanced productivity in any location.