Australian law firms sailed on a banner year with bumper revenues. While on the other hand, they had a counterblast and turned down work due to a lack of resources as a result of unprecedented staff turnover. Reports also abound that UK and U.S. firms merrily solicited employees from Australian law firms.
The pandemic gained a foothold into law firm operations and heralded a new hybrid working style. However, law firms are now set to work on their employee well-being credentials to woo them back to in-office work. But, would law firms be pushing for a return to office-based work if the right technology and processes were in place? Are law firms jeopardising their profitability by failing to adapt to the new hybrid work model?
In May 2022, BigHand and ALPMA ran a survey gathering responses from 50 firms to understand current workflow trends across firms in Australia and New Zealand. The Survey examines issues related to workflow management and law firm readiness to meet the challenges thrown up in the new operational settings.
The survey notes that the level of attrition rate has increased since their previous Workflow Management Report. ‘Great Resignation’ and salary wars have been the primary culprits responsible for the shift in employee expectations and movements. The survey questions whether law firms are now making attempts to revert to the old pre-pandemic work mode. It also focuses on how law firm workflow is being managed in a hybrid work setting to meet the expectations of clients and staff. Staff expectations include an obligation to complete work outside traditional office hours due to poor workflow management, and the lack of recognition, if any, for such overtime work.
Additionally, the survey answers the questions related to:
- Dealing with the increasing expenses and overhead costs that impact business
- Client’s concerns about incurring unnecessary costs
- Allocating the right resources in the hybrid work model
- Evaluating requirements for operational processes to optimise service delivery
- Plans to replace and reduce the skill gap
- Enabling knowledge transfer between staff
- Obligation on lawyers to take on more administrative tasks due to support staff reduction
- Creating a hybrid work policy that matches the requirements of all employees across age groups
- Importance of legal technology as an enabler
Follow the link to access the full Safeguarding Law Firm Profitability report to compare and contrast and to understand if your firm policies are in line.
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