Working from home as a lawyer has its challenges. From conducting virtual meetings to learning new technologies, there are so many things that can add pressure to your workday.
We are living in a unique era due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before last year, many legal professionals didn’t have the opportunity to work from a remote location. And because of that, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and isolated.
Fortunately, there are ways you can manage feelings of isolation and stay connected despite being far away from work. Here are 5 ways to stay plugged in when you are working from a remote location.
1. Schedule virtual lunches with team members
Sharing a meal with your team members can improve professional relationships and build camaraderie. Lunch time gives you the opportunity to enjoy a mid-day break and bond with your colleagues.
Organize virtual lunches with your teammates so you don’t feel like you are eating alone. Be sure to plan these lunches on the same day of the week. That way, your colleagues can put them on their schedules.
Practical tips for virtual lunches include:
- Set a time limit for each lunch.
- Select an app to host the virtual lunches (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, etc.).
- Dress for the occasion.
- Keep it informal.
- Choose a theme for each virtual lunch.
2. Engage in more video conferences than calls or emails.
Video conferences can engage clients and colleagues better than calls or emails. Modern technology provides opportunities for face-to-face communication, screen sharing and global collaboration.
Benefits of video conferencing include:
- Maintains human connections.
- Provides a reliable means of communication.
- Saves on travel costs.
- Improves workplace productivity.
- Reduces travel times.
3. Use collaborative tools.
There are many online collaborative tools that can connect you with your teammates. These tools allow you to collaborate for group reports, presentations and other work projects.
Efficient collaborative tools for teams in 2021 include:
- Swit (built-in task management and chat capabilities)
- Evernote (stores notes and tasks)
- Gain (client collaboration tool)
- Creately (offers real-time collaboration on a visual workspace)
- Blink (collaboration software for deskless workers)
4. Have visibility buddies.
In your office, you probably have team members who you are close to and those who have your back during meetings and presentations. Now that everyone’s working from home, it requires more effort to maintain those connections. That’s why it’s a good idea to have visibility buddies while you are away from the office.
Visibility buddies are those teammates that you trade stories, experiences and accomplishments with. Maintaining these relationships can help you stay visible while you are working from home.
It’s easy to have visibility buddies at the office, but it requires more intention to maintain such relationships via the internet. However, having visibility buddies can prevent you from feeling lonely when you are working remotely.
5. Connect with colleagues and friends on social media.
Working long hours can increase your feelings of loneliness while working remotely. After work, take a few moments to connect with friends and distant family members on social media platforms.
Activities you can engage in on social media include:
- Participate in virtual birthday celebrations.
- Host watch parties.
- Invite your friends to virtual happy hours.
- Connect with family using Messenger, FaceTime or Google Duo.
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Looking for resources to help you stay connected and plugged in? These books can help.
- Power Teams Beyond Borders: How to Work Remotely and Build Powerful Teams by Peter Ivanov
- Work Together Anywhere: A Handbook on Working Remotely – Successfully – for Individuals, Teams and Managers by Lisette Sutherland and Kirsten Janene-Nelson
- Remote: Office Not Requires by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
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