New report finds 54% of legal professionals using unapproved personal devices for work with compliance and security at risk
The Legal Hybrid Working Report 2023 finds that law firms are not providing employees with the correct tech for home working and challenges still exist for collaboration and compliance.
87% of law professionals have not gone back to working in the office five days a week. Respondents said resolving tech issues quicker, better integration of technology and investing in new hardware or software helped with remote working and their productivity, showing the importance of a good managed service provider (MSP).
More than half of legal professionals have admitted to using their own unapproved phones and tablets for work, sparking fresh concerns around compliance and security as firms embrace hybrid working on a permanent basis.
This was just one of the findings to emerge from Access Legal’s Legal Hybrid Working Report 2023 conducted by Oosha, specialist cloud and managed IT services provider to the legal sector. The report highlights the divide in the number of employees who work well from home and the inefficiencies and frustrations they still experience with outdated or fragmented tech.
The survey of 100 UK legal professionals found that while 70% of them now work a mix of days in the office and at home, more than half have used unapproved, personal tech to carry out tasks such as emailing, video conferencing or client communications at home.
This shows that some firms are struggling to equip teams with the right tools and raises serious cybersecurity concerns if employees have insecure Wi-Fi at home or have breached their employer’s ‘own device policy’ when dealing with sensitive and confidential business and client information.
Respondents said having the right technology made it easier to collaborate with their colleagues and clients when working remotely, which suggests that any firms that are not investing in software and equipment for their teams are missing opportunities for increased productivity and stronger commercial potential.
Ian Bedford, general manager for cloud IT managed services at Oosha, said:
“Given law firms are handling highly sensitive information in a tightly-regulated field it’s concerning to find that employees are putting their firms at risk of a cyber-security or data breach. Firms are either choosing to ignore the security and operational risks and leaving their people, quite literally, to their own devices, or have already embraced hybrid working and are in the process of firming up a strategy to invest and update their tech.
With the right technology firms can refine practices and empower fee-earners to achieve more. There’s never been a more crucial time for law practitioners to think about their working practices to ensure they are offering their teams the best technology to do their jobs, wherever they’re based.”
Comments from firms who took part in the study shared how things like adopting new software, moving to the cloud or outsourcing their IT requirements to an MSP (managed service provider) had helped them improve compliance, security and efficiency. One firm said having the tech to assist flexible or remote working had also helped with employee loyalty and retention, as well as attracting high-quality staff in a difficult market.
Access Legal is part of The Access Group, one of the leading providers of business management software to small and mid-sized organisations in the UK, Ireland and Asia Pacific. Its client portfolio includes The MAPD Group, Minster Law, Winn Solicitors, Wolferstans and Neves Solicitors LLP.
To read the full report, visit: https://www.oosha.co.uk/guide-legal-hybrid-working-report-2023.
This article was submitted to be published by Access Legal as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Family Lawyer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Family Lawyer.