SOME POSITIVE CHANGES MAY BY HERE TO STAY
Pundits and futurists are busy prognosticating about what's waiting inside the doors of a re-opened economy. We don't pretend to know what the future holds but we do see some changes to the daily routine that could affect your practice in positive ways.
Incorporating digital signatures into your practice and accepting electronic payments are two trends that we see continuing to keep people safe and make work more efficient.
Documents and cheques pass through a lot of hands and can slow things down. When Lawyers Financial adopted e-signatures, we found the process seamless and encountered no resistance. Clearly, everyone is ready to reduce our dependence on ink. We also discovered that many people were happy to switch to pre-authorized payments for insurance premiums.
Some people have been asked to stay home for at least a few more months and possibly the rest of the year. And many solo practitioners are spending less time on the road thanks to electronic documents and video conferencing. If you are driving less, your insurance provider may be offering temporarily reduced rates. For example, The Personal is offering rebates for clients who may be driving less during the pandemic. It all adds up.
If you pay for family transit passes or offer them to your employees as a green-minded perk, you should look into whether or not your local transit authority is offering rebates on prepaid passes.
Know your limits
Banks typically limit email money transfers to $3,000 a day and weekly limits apply as well. For larger, or ongoing amounts, you can set up direct deposits to your account.
Good-quality office chairs could become high-demand items as work-at-home policies continue to extend and more workers settle in for the long haul. Get your order in now. If you've put off a full commitment to tricking out your home office, consider the long-term health benefits of proper equipment. A good chair tucked under a proper desk is critical.
Maintaining a safe and sanitized workspace where employees can be productive and you can meet with clients takes some planning. Now is the time to think about cleaning costs and how the need for social distancing measures may affect your budget and the office environment. For example, you may need to create rotating schedules for the office in order to manage traffic flow and staff safety.
Clients and staff want to know what you are doing to create a safe environment. Let clients know that you are serious about safety and detail all of your procedures for managing in-person meetings at your office. Consider a standard form or checklist that you send to everyone ahead of meetings. People will appreciate your respect for their well-being.
These are just a few of the trends that we see affecting the legal community in the coming months. There will be more. As things change, we'll do our best to share what we learn and help you set the best course for your practice.
Originally published JUNE 25, 2020
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.