No place like home

No place like home

Linda Lamb provides tips for family lawyers on how to cope with working from home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

It’s no secret that we as family lawyers deal with the anxieties and distress of others on a daily basis. No-one chooses to seek a family lawyer unless they are having relationship issues. To put it bluntly, we are a distress purchase. It is for this reason family lawyers often need to talk issues through with others in the field either to consider the decisions they have made in their cases or merely to receive support from others who understand the pressures they are under. These discussions can provide renewed vigour for the work and also provide a helpful exchange of ideas which provides alternative solutions.

The sudden shift to homeworking brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has severely interrupted this all-important communication, confirmed by a poll of Resolution members. Many lawyers derive a lot of energy and inspiration from working with others in an office environment, so it comes as no surprise that homeworking has had a negative impact on motivation, morale, work performance and mental health for family lawyers.

Since setting up my own private practice from home three years ago, I have had to seek alternative ways of working to make the transition from office work to homeworking a success, upholding the high standard of work expected of clients while ensuring I keep in close contact with others in the profession. Below I’ve provided some top tips to help make homeworking a success for the foreseeable future.

Technology

The prospect of mandatory homeworking stretching into the spring of 2021 seemed like a far-off prospect. With many firms considering more homeworking for lawyers once the pandemic has lifted, investing in good technology at home is a great way to maximise work efficiency. Your technology should keep up with your thought processes – any delay can disrupt workflow, often feel jarring and de-energising. As an example, using an old and slow laptop/PC for the occasional task may be manageable, but not for daily nine-to-five use.  It is worth investing in a computer that is fast and works well with different programmes. This is very much the same for Wi-Fi – purchase the fastest possible Wi-Fi available in your area and boost this if necessary. I would also suggest investing in a large screen which I find make

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