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MANAGING THE OFFICE

4 day workweek: Is it in your future?

By Lynne Curry If you’re an employee, you’re immediately interested. If you’re an employer, you’re doubtful—yet you keep hearing about this new strategy that might make a significant difference in your company’s ability to survive and thrive. It’s the four-day workweek, though not the compressed 4/10’s workweek that oil patch and similar companies used. Employers adopting this four-day workweek ask each employee to work 8.5 hours four days a week, providing them full salaries for 34 rather than 40 hours weekly. Forty U.S. and Canadian employers are trying out this strategy in a pilot program run by 4 Day Week Global.1 Another 32 U.S. employers have adopted it.2 The concept asks employees to maintain 100% productivity for 100% of their pay while working only 80% of the time. It requires employees… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

The art of subtle self-promotion

By Julie Perrine As an administrative professional, you’re used to working behind the scenes. Your job is to make your executive look good in the spotlight, not to shine it on yourself. You may even feel more comfortable behind the curtain than on stage. And that’s OK…most of the time. However, to keep your career moving forward, you need to practice some self-promotion, too. There’s a big difference between bragging and subtle self-promotion. Bragging is implying that you’re somehow better than others. You brag to stoke your own ego. For instance, “I was just promoted to team lead and got a big raise because I’m the best admin ever!” Self-promotion is stating a fact. For example, “After five years with my practice, I finally got the promotion I’ve been working… . . . read more

STAFF MEETINGS

Zoom hiders: Camera shy or disengaged?

By Lynne Curry Question: For our mandatory manager meetings, I show up on time so my attendance is noted, and then get through the meetings by multi-tasking. It’s easy enough to hear what’s said as I get other work done. I cover this up by always making a positive comment on at least one of the manager’s proposals. I leave my video off, though, and when the manager chastised me, I compromised by turning it on at the beginning, saying “hi” to everyone, and turning it on anything important is happening, and when I’m speaking. I thought this was a reasonable compromise, so imagine my shock when my manager said my leaving the camera off was a key reason I wasn’t one of the three managers being sent to a… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Changed jobs: What have I done?

By Lynne Curry You expect to feel angry when fired from a job you enjoy. You expect to feel scared when laid off from a job at which you felt secure. You don’t expect to feel rotten one week after you intentionally make a career move from a job you’ve outgrown to one that promises to be challenging and rewarding. So why are you so rattled during your first week on this new job? Sudden job change takes you from a job and practice in which you know who’s who and what’s what and throws you into situations you need to navigate without a clear road map. Before you have the chance to learn your new employer’s unwritten rules, including whom to trust and who might take things the wrong… . . . read more

HIRING

Reference checking: I thought they weren’t allowed to say that

What’s your understanding of the reference checking process? If you’re like most managers and job seekers, you probably think former employers are only allowed to confirm previous employment dates and title. Certainly they cannot, and will not, offer negative commentary about workers as it would be a violation of corporate policy—and perhaps it is illegal as well. If this is your assumption, you would do well to think again. While it’s true that many companies have reference policies in place that prohibit them from giving out anything but limited, prescribed information, many do not, says Allison & Taylor Reference Checking, a firm that has been checking references for corporations and individuals since 1984. Additionally, even companies with reference policies in place cannot ensure that their employees will necessarily abide by… . . . read more

INCREASING PROFITS

Corporate law departments strengthen ties with outside law firms

A new report on corporate law departments shows increasing investments in technology solutions, an expected increase in legal spend, and strengthening partnerships between corporate law departments and their external law firms. Thomson Reuters released 2022 State of Corporate Law Departments Report on March 22. The pandemic impacted all aspects of business including corporate law departments globally, which have been on the frontlines of protecting businesses during this unprecedented time. This year’s report provides key insights to aid corporate law departments and the law firms supporting them with world-class business intelligence, including benchmarks on legal spend, how to optimize for the future, and innovative ways law departments can stay a step ahead. “The impact of the pandemic and uncertainty propelled corporate legal departments to drive efficiency as a necessity,” said Sunil… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

Keep your firm’s goals current

We traditionally set our firm’s goals for the beginning of the year, but setting targets on a quarterly or on-going basis keeps these goals current and relevant. Goals provide crucial support in guiding year decisions through this year and the years ahead. Goals mean that instead of reacting to whatever happens, you’re proactively driving your firm to where you want to go. So, what should you keep in mind when setting your law firm’s business goals for the rest of 2022 and beyond? Here’s advice from Cosmolex, cloud-based law practice management software that integrates trust & business accounting, time tracking, billing, email & document management, and tasks & calendaring, in a single application: Start with metrics for the big picture To know where you want to go, you first need to… . . . read more

INCREASING PROFITS

5 law firm billing practices for better cash flow

By Brenda Barnes It’s probably not a big surprise that if your firm does not have sound billing and collection practices, your cash flow will suffer. It also probably goes without saying that when cash flow suffers so does partner compensation. How can you tighten this up? First and foremost, you need to have solid billing policies that are agreed upon and followed! Enter your time daily. With today’s mobile technology, there is really no excuse for not entering time daily. Your practice management software should be so easy to use, so easy to access that there are really no excuses. Enter time from your desktop, laptop, iPad, cellular phone and dictate it directly to your software. If your software is not providing your attorneys this flexibility, make the investment now… . . . read more

WORKING WITH LAWYERS

4 components of effective succession planning

By Brenda Barnes Woody Allen’s famous quip, “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying,” perfectly expresses the kind of wishful thinking that often gets in the way of preparing for the future. A huge wave of baby boomers has been pushing through the workforce and is now at retirement age or within sight of retirement. According to the recent U.S. census, over 65% will work past the age of retirement. Many companies put off succession planning until their owners are nearly into their 60s. In some cases, this is already too late—planning for a smooth transition of both the leadership and ownership of a business ought to begin 10 years or more before the retirement of an owner in order… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

Fear of COVID-19, demand for flexibility dominate return to the office

As the Delta variant continues to proliferate, 42 percent of workers are worried about returning to the workplace for fear of contracting COVID-19. This marks a substantial jump to Sept. 1 from June 2021 when only 24 percent had that concern. “With headlines about the rise of the Delta variant, breakthrough cases among the vaccinated, and an overburdened healthcare system in much of the country, COVID-19 concerns that were subsiding just two months ago have risen,” said Rebecca Ray, PhD, Executive Vice President of Human Capital at The Conference Board. Conducted in August by The Conference Board, the new survey captured the thoughts of more than 2,400 US workers on topics including return-to-work anxiety, factors driving them to pursue new job opportunities, opinions about remote work, and more. The survey… . . . read more


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