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TECHNOLOGY

A primer on document management systems

Are you wondering how to modernize your office’s system of managing documents?  A document management system, or DMS, refers to the tools and processes your organization uses to store and manage documents. A modern DMS will often provide robust search capabilities, metadata tagging, access controls, and increased security processes to protect files. NetDocument, a cloud content management platform where legal professionals do work, offers this primer document management systems: In the past, document management meant a combination of filing cabinets, boxes, shelves, folders, binders, scanners, thousands upon thousands of printed pages, and designated square footage in the office to hold it all. Document management has evolved to align with today’s digital workplace by storing electronic  files and documents either in an on-premises or cloud-based DMS. These tools bring with them… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

How job hunting changed: You have leverage you never had before

By Lynne Curry Question: I left a senior position in a large practice when the pandemic and four children at home forced me out of the workforce. At first, my now ex-husband and I thought I’d take a month off, get the kids settled and return to on-site work. But COVID-19 dragged on, and I couldn’t see leaving the kids at home to fend for themselves while I returned to 10-hour workdays. Then, my personal life turned upside down. Now, I need to return to work. I dread it. I want a job, but no longer want to be a superwoman who can handle a high-profile, high-stress career and still parent. I need “normal.” Forty, maybe 45 hours a week is all I’m willing to give, maybe more if an… . . . read more

PRODUCTIVITY

Artificial intelligence can boost billable hours

Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents one of the latest advances in legal technology. Rather than replacing attorneys and support staff, AI can help lawyers and other legal professionals do more to serve their clients with greater efficiency and less expense. Teaching computers to learn One significant advantage of employing AI is the ability of machines to learn tasks that previously required the time and effort of lawyers, according to a blog by SMI Aware, a social media evidence collection and preservation service. Likewise, AI enhances the ability of lawyers to extract pertinent case information by directly typing a query in a search field—or directing the machine to perform a given task. Of course, before computers can perform these tasks, they must be “taught” to do so by humans. Connecting various concepts, such as… . . . read more

HIRING

Adopt these four best practices for successful staff onboarding

A structured onboarding process can lead to a better start for your employees, resulting in better retention and productivity. That’s the word from Paul Edwards, CEO and founder of Cedr Solutions, a provider of custom employee handbooks, management software and HR support. He suggests these four best practices to add to your process. 1. Begin onboarding before your employee’s first day. After you provide your employee with an offer letter stating the basic terms of at-will employment at your business and explaining that their employment is contingent upon passing a background check, you should start making sure you and your team are prepared for the employee’s first day at the office. This includes: Entering their information and paperwork into your HR management system. Preparing all new-hire documentation Setting up their… . . . read more

RETURN TO THE OFFICE

Caregiver caught between employer’s expectations and family’s needs

By Lynne Curry As managers require employees to spend more time at the office, they will encounter special circumstances that require special solutions. Consider the following situation of an employee needing to work from home to provide family care. Employee question: Since our schools no longer require masks, my husband and I decided to homeschool our youngest child. My employer initially made this easier by allowing me to work remotely. Although I needed to run into the office occasionally for an hour or two, it wasn’t a problem because my mother-in-law lives with us. Unfortunately, my employer now insists that all employees work a minimum of three full workdays in the office. I argued with my manager and he insisted it was a matter of fairness that I work onsite…. . . . read more

PRODUCTIVITY

5 ways to say goodbye to the procrastination blues

By Lynne Curry The report’s good, but not good enough. You should have worked on it a week ago, but you put it off. Friday afternoon, you panicked. You killed a perfectly good weekend to get everything finished by the Monday morning due date. If you want to break the “put it off until nearly too late” habit, try these five strategies. 1. Decide you’ll start projects when you need to start them — even if you don’t “feel ready” Procrastinators hesitate to begin projects until they “feel ready.” Unfortunately, you may not feel ready until long after you should have started. The antidote? When you commit to a project, assign a “D” (no more delay) date. When that date arrives, start the project, even if your only action is… . . . read more

LEADERSHIP

10 tips to turn toxic management into teamwork

By Daryll Esposito You know how valuable your employees are. The question is, do they know you know it? The working world is changing fast, and so are the demands of leadership. Successful law offices must nurture an environment that is not only productive but also provides flexibility, opportunity, and job satisfaction. Almost two-thirds of small to midsized companies report that employee retention is a bigger problem than hiring new talent, according to recent research from Zenefits. And when good staffers leave, it creates costly disruptions that can hamper overall productivity. WHAT IS A TOXIC BOSS? Leadership is never easy. It requires big-picture thinking, tough calls, and a deft touch to nudge things in the right direction. It also requires mutual trust and respect with everyone you work with. A… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

8 ways to make your meetings zoom by

By Lynne Curry If you dread meetings–attending them, hosting them–and long for meetings to become more than a necessary evil, you can make it happen. Not long ago, I hosted a two-day, 15-hour meeting that the 17 attendees said “zoomed by,” “was fun, kept me engaged the entire time,” and “made an hour seem like five minutes.” Here’s how we did it. 1. A “you” start We started with the “real,” with questions like “how is remote working for you this week?” 2. Real value Before I launched into the first topic, I asked everyone what they hoped the meeting focused on and what results they wanted from it. Everyone listens to the same radio station, WIFM, “what’s in it for me.” If your meeting attendees know from the start,… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Helping your employees help Ukraine

By Lynne Curry My inbox flooded when I challenged readers “are you brave?” writing about the woman who crashed Russia’s main state news broadcast to protest the Ukraine invasion, https://bit.ly/3N21Wot and then challenged employers with “what’s occurring in the Ukraine creates widespread grief. Are there ways you can channel your employees’ anger and sense of powerlessness by offering them avenues to respond in humanitarian ways that support Ukrainians fleeing the invasion?” Many employers wrote me and asked “what can we do as coworkers and employers? Here’s how I answered: Employee mental health, well-being and support are within every employer’s scope. As your company’s leaders, you can act with empathy and meaningful support to help your employees weather the emotional impact of devastation in Ukraine. Coworkers can reach out with care and concern…. . . . read more

TECHNOLOGY

Clocked out or connected: What you need to know about after-hours group chats

By Paul Edwards “Quick question…” Those two words have become increasingly popular as our near-constant attachment to communication devices blurs the line between work and personal time. Whether by phone, laptop, or tablet—via Slack, WhatsApp, or Google Chat—it’s easier than ever for teams to stay in contact after the workday is done. But employers need to be cautious about how they approach group conversations outside of the workplace. Not only will you need to ensure that your employees are clear on the standards for professional conduct within a group chat or text, but whether or not you have to pay employees for the time they spend messaging will depend on several factors, including the content of the messages, how much time is spent messaging, and whether the employees are classified… . . . read more


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