How a Lancashire Law Firm used technical innovation to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and are realising the benefits.
Laura Dover Operations Director at Harrison Drury, a 120-employee firm explains:
“Leave me where I am”, was the underlying message received back from our people after the first two months of ‘lock-down’ after Covid-19 struck.
This message was not so much around their concern of ensuring isolation and health protection but as a direct response to what necessity had enforced in collaborative working from home.
Laura Dover, Operations Director at Harrison Drury explains that as a mid-size, multi-discipline law firm with over 120 employees across Lancashire & Cumbria, the challenge is how we look to return to the world after-Covid19 as it has become evidently clear that homeworking has had a positive impact on efficiency and has provided the balance sought by many of our people. A big influencing factor has been the reduction in travel time. Travel that historically was done as part of a commute to and from the office, meeting with clients and inter-branch to meet with colleagues across all departments.
As there have never been problems with trust in our people across the firm, discussions between the heads of departments and the board have clearly spelled out the many benefits that can be derived from a well-thought-out strategy for our people, our clients and our business. The necessity of the recent changes bestowed upon the firm has helped us to achieve agile working across the business sooner than we may have previously anticipated.
Building a Strategy
We see the return to ‘normality’ as a two-phase process.
The first is a pre-vaccine precautionary manoeuvre due to social distancing. Following the Covid19 safe standard code, seating plans have been revised to ensure social distancing for those wanting to spend time in the office.
Rota-based working is being considered to ensure we can make it possible to offer the blend of office and home-based working.
Whilst many businesses are looking at remote working as an opportunity to save money on-premises costs, we believe that it will be difficult to do this during ‘Phase One’. Whilst we have fewer staff in our offices, we are committed to following the Covid-19 secure 2m social distancing guidance and recognise the limitations placed on desk-sharing until a vaccine is made available.
A second phase of development will start after social distancing has ended and a vaccine has been developed. Harrison Drury will review how the rota-based system has operated for the firm. We will look to understand from each department head and members of their teams what has worked well and the lessons learnt to help inform a long-term homeworking policy. Considering both productivity and what positives coming out of working in a more flexible and agile manner, whilst ensuring the culture of the firm is maintained.
Stephen Pritchard CEO of Matrix247, the telecoms & mobile provider to Harrison Drury goes on to outline, “The ability is available to Harrison Drury to implement remote working and eventually ‘hot-desking’ through their cloud-based telephony system. Harrison Drury are hoping this capability will enable the firm to offer agile working across their business and realize many of the benefits this can provide for their people, their clients and their business. Enabling the firm to both expand headcount without taking on additional premise costs and, for some locations, to potentially reduce floor space rental costs.”
Stephen adds “Directors, solicitors and those working in business support roles at Harrison Drury are avidly using the collaboration suite of desktop tools such as video-conferencing that is fully integrated into the cloud-based telephony platform. The feedback from a number of heads of departments is that productivity is clearly unaffected, and in some cases increasing. Should this prove to be the permanent change indicated, the amount of time saved in car journeys together with notable drops in fuel costs during the Covid19 crisis will hopefully remain significant benefits for the firm”.
For over 3 decades, award-winning Matrix247 have delivered secure telephony systems, low-cost landline solutions, mobile call-routing, mobile devices, connectivity, integrations to case management systems and SRA compliant cyber security solutions to hundreds of law firms and currently have thousands of users deployed.
With law firm clients ranging from single offices to multi-site firms with hundreds of staff, Matrix247 can develop bespoke solutions for each law firm. With a steady growth year on year, the Matrix247 Group has grown significantly between 20-40% over the last two years with the introduction of multi-media capabilities.
For more information please visit http://www.matrix247.com/law, or contact
Stephen Pritchard at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 3620 247.
Laura Dover, Operations Director, Harrison Drury Solicitors
The role of operations director for the firm involves a mix of both people and business development to ensure the firm’s ‘we make it possible’ culture is engrained in everything that Harrison Drury’s people do.
Laura joined the firm after working in a liaison role for primary healthcare providers across Lancashire and Cumbria and has a Master of Business Administration (MBA Dist.) from the University of Central Lancashire. The management of estates and facilities is also a priority of Laura’s position in ensuring that the whole organisation performs at its optimum level.
With an energetic dog in the family, much of Laura’s spare time is spent out bike riding, walking in the local parks or doing CrossFit (not with the dog).