Do More with Mobile: How iPhones and iPads Can Help Lawyers Be More Productive When Working from Home

Have you suddenly become one of the millions of professionals around the world forced into full-time working from home in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? This post has been written to give you some ideas on how you can make the most of the new dynamic, and help your firm in the process.

Truly Mobile Working

First, don’t forget how much productivity you can still realize working on the go. We know anecdotally that mobile usage among lawyers with children has increased significantly during this crisis. The capacity to do mobile work is important because family or other community obligations will likely dictate that individuals are often unable to stay tethered to a desk at home. Mobile devices enable us to complete certain tasks in a range of settings, such as quickly firing off an email to a colleague.

Moreover, in this period of understandably high distraction when you may not remember to enter time, ZERØ’s iPhone application automatically captures how much time a fee-earner spends on client-related emails. This takes care of a big risk to revenue that firms currently face – which is the potential for a lot of time to be lost during this crisis.

Email Management

Social distancing also means no face-to-face meetings—meaning that you’re probably sending and receiving more emails than ever. In this environment, staying on top of your inbox has never been more crucial. ZERØ’s mobile app can help you prioritize communications with its “Sort by Importance” feature, which uses over 20 parameters, including historical interactions with the sender and language, to assess messages in your inbox and display them to you in the order you should respond. ZERØ can also help you automatically file your emails into your document management system or email folders, allowing you to focus on your billable work.

new yorker cartoon
Source: The New Yorker

Your Mobile Device as a Second Screen

Also, have you thought about using your iPad and or iPhone as a second screen alongside a laptop? The reason you would want to do this is that it will give you a marked boost in productivity. And anything that can make us more time-efficient has a value.

How do multiple screens increase productivity? Well, for example, you can display your inbox screen on your iPhone and glance across to see incoming emails during natural concentration breaks—as opposed to having your train of thought broken every time an incoming email announces its arrival on your main screen.

Data Security

Data security is another consideration when working remotely. For those lawyers looking for more advanced functionality, ZERØ was built with security at its core. Its unique edge computing architecture ensures that no data is ever sent outside of the user’s device for processing. Data privacy is never compromised.

In addition, the app also includes a data loss prevention feature to stop users from sending potentially sensitive documents to the wrong recipient. This could prove particularly useful when people are working in an environment that is more stressful and distracting than normal, making them more prone to these kinds of error.

Health and Wellbeing

And finally, there is another consequence of homeworking to consider: the impact it has on mental and physical health. More than ever, people need to make conscious efforts to safeguard their wellbeing. This will include optimizing the comfort of their workspace by adjusting desk/table and chair heights and setting up suitable lighting. It should include taking regular breaks, exercise, and avoiding long periods of sedentary work. If not self-isolating, it will be healthy to take yourself and your iPhone out for a walk at lunchtime. That way, you can take a break without being out of touch.

Also, did you know that one of the most recognized hazards of home working is overwork? This happens because driven and highly professional people find it difficult to modulate their work effort at home. In an office, natural social interactions, however brief, break up concentrated sprints of work. But when working from home, there is a tendency to feel bad about taking any kind of break that does not feel “legitimate.” There is also the danger of slipping into an “always-on” culture.

In this regard, iPhones serve another useful purpose at this difficult time. One of their key competencies is that they enable not just communication, but conversation. People should not feel guilty about folding some purely social interactions into their workday and using their iPhone simply to talk to friends and family. Too much isolation can chip away at anyone’s mental and physical reserves at a time when it’s more important than ever to stay healthy and productive.