5 Essential Remote Work Tips from PCLaw | Time Matters
For some, working from home is standard. For others, it is completely new, and a reality now faced by many due to the spread of COVID-19. Whether you are working from your home office, your kitchen table, or your favorite lounge chair, you may be experiencing a bit of "workplace culture shock."
Kids are running around and those at-home chores, that you have been putting off, are staring you in the face. It can be a difficult adjustment and we hope to help with that. We are here to support our PCLaw | Time Matters™ customers and the community at large. We are all in this together.
With the advancement of the internet, tools for remote work have become readily available all across the world. Since Microsoft released its Windows NT 4.0 Server, Terminal Server on June 16, 1998, the required tools have evolved and have become a part of everyday life. Having the right tools, however, is only part of the equation. The rest - mindset. How do you remain productive in an environment with so many distractions?
Here is some practical advice to help your business transition successfully to a world where working from home has become essential.
1. Your Space
It is important to make your space as businesslike as possible. If you have a spare room that can be converted into an office, this is ideal. If you do not, there are some easy compromises you can make, anywhere in your home.
Turn off the TV.
Avoid becoming distracted by pets.
If you need to share a space, make use of noise-cancelling headphones.
Now is not the time to save costs on equipment. Ideally, your set-up will be the same as you have in the office.
Purchase the fastest internet plan available. Pay attention to having decent upload speeds. Your home internet use is about to be used for a very different purpose. This will vary based on your location. For example – in Raleigh, North Carolina, where we are based, AT&T offers a 1000 Mbps home connection for under $100 per month.
Cable your computer to your router to maximize its speed.
If connecting using WiFi, invest in a heavy-duty router. The further away you get from your router, the more you should consider a Mesh setup.
Make use of multiple monitors.
A comfortable chair – you will be spending a lot of time in it.
Invest in a stand-up desk so you can stretch your legs while you work.
A good webcam.
Lots of HDMI and Ethernet Cables.
Lots of power cable extensions.
Don’t forget about a printer, ink, paper and scanner.
Invest in a top of the range smart phone.
Have lots of batteries. Lithium Ion are best as they are long-lasting.
To be effective at home, you should maintain your regular routine. This will assist in keeping you mentally focused and ensure productivity.
Wake up at the same time as if you were going to the office.
Eat at the same times you would at the office.
Exercise as you would when working from the office. If your gyms are closed, businesses such as A Second U Foundation are running in home, online one-on-one and group training sessions. P|T has negotiated a special rate for its users as part of a partnership with A Second U.
Dress as you would for work. Just because your meetings are virtual does not mean you should stop wearing pants.
Write down your top 5 or 6 priorities and create an agenda for your day.
Meet with your teams once in the morning and once before the end of the day.
For law firms that use PCLaw® and/or Time Matters®, we have released platforms to ensure business continuity from home.
PCLaw Go and Time Matters Go
Our mobile applications have been designed for use on smart phones. Firms looking to record time from home can do so using their mobile devices.
PCLaw | Time Matters AMP Membership customers can find information on setting up Go at their firm with the following P|T Community links:
PCLaw and Time Matters Web
Our P|T Web Portal gives AMP Membership customers the ability to enter time and expenses, search and view matter details like notes, documents, and to-dos, and add calendar appointments from any web browser.
You can find information on setting up P|T Web at your firm with the following links:
Maintain continuous access to your practice management software. Ensure continued use of your regular business systems. This is the only way to maintain a single source of truth about your business. Virtual desktop options, like LogMeIn, allow you to access your PCLaw or Time Matters software from your home and provide full functionality of the software as if you were in the office.
If you are taking the opportunity to review your business systems, our partnership with LEAP Legal Software allows PCLaw | Time Matters customers the opportunity to seamlessly transition their data to LEAP’s software, specifically designed to accommodate working from home. Our relationship with LEAP allows them to work with our engineering team to assist in delivering the only PCLaw | Time Matters approved data migration to the Cloud.
Our partner, InfoTrack allows you to eFile from the safety of your own home.
InfoTrack also provides SignIT, an electronic signature service that helps lawyers collect signatures from multiple parties faster and more efficiently. To sign up for SignIT, visit the InfoTrack page here.
Use a soft phone such as 3CX so that you can take your office phone with you anywhere. You do not need to use your personal cell number for business use.
Utilize collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams for intra office communication.
No need to see clients in person if you use Zoom, an easy-to-use web conferencing provider.
5. Here is Everything You Need To Start Up Your Own P|T Home Office Kit
At PCLaw | Time Matters, we spend a lot of time working from different locations. To enable us to work from home, the below is a holistic list of what items we provide to our staff. All links are designed to provide you with quick access to equipment.
A Laptop Click Here
Router Click Here
2 or more Monitors Click Here
Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Click Here
External CD Drive Click Here
Printer/Scanner Click Here
iPhone Click Here
Docking Station Click Here
2 or more HDMI cables Click Here
2 or more Ethernet cables Click Here
Web Cam Click Here
Desk Click Here
Stand Up Desk Adapter Click Here
Chair Click Here
Paper Click Here
Batteries Click Here
Power Strips Click Here
Our Extra Tip for PCLaw | Time Matters AMP Membership Customers
Our extensive network of Certified PCLaw | Time Matters Consultants are here to help during this time. They can assist in setting up additional systems, software customization, and on boarding. A few of our consultants are waiting for your call. Here is their contact information:
Bill Dertinger, Esq.
Esquire Consultant Group, Ltd – Pres/CEO Lexpath Technologies – VP/CEO
CIC for PCLaw and Time Matters since 1995
877-LEXPATH (539-7284) Option 5
Circle Management Group
10 CICs supporting PCLaw and Time Matters since 1995
To learn more about available work-from-home options, from PCLaw | Time Matters, call us at 1-800-328-2898.