23 April 2020By the BBS Team
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the way we all live and work. In this week’s blog, our law clerks and support staff share some of the challenges – and rewards – of supporting a law firm virtually and working from home.
Last week, we featured the perspective of our lawyers. For part 1, "Lawyers in a Dangerous Time," click here.
I love working from home – I have been doing this as part of my regular schedule for some time now. At BBS we are fortunate to have a cloud-based system that is seamless and secure, in and out of the office.
This is however a much different scenario as the option to go into the office is not available. I do need to print paper for record keeping, etc., and not having that has been challenging, but has forced me to figure out how to be paperless – silver linings.
Also, having two parents working from home, with small kids offers even more challenges… I think I have enough material to write a book! In all seriousness though, I am finding that the colleagues I work with are all mostly in the same boat so when I do have calls, it is always nice to catch up, offer some funny anecdotes and have a laugh (with kids inevitably screaming in the background). It is nice to know that we are all in this together.
Since the pandemic, I have been working from home. We have a spare room in our apartment so I have an office set up that is separate from the rest of the apartment; it helps keep work separate from the rest of my life.
I do, however, like working without so much paper. I’m usually pretty good about filing everything electronically, so I’m able to find things easily, which sometimes makes me appear to be magic.
I’m feeling very lucky these days – I have a separate room in my house to work in, my daughter is old enough to do her e-learning (and a little too much YouTube-watching) mostly independently, and I have a back yard so I can get fresh air and sunshine.
My day-to-day challenge has been making sure I’m keeping on top of what the BBS lawyers need from me. Not being able to pop into Cynthia’s office to ask for clarification on a task, or to check things off on a printed to-do list mean I’m having to develop new habits. So far, so good though – we seem to be chugging along productively! And while I do miss the bullpen chats with Kim, Anca, Chasidy and Jordan, my cats are reasonably good conversationalists.
Working from home is a new experience for me. Throughout this experience, I've learned that in order to be efficient, it is imperative to create an atmosphere that fosters productivity. If possible, I recommend creating a separate work area from where one would normally relax.
From my view, it’s been a smooth period. I do miss the chatter in the kitchen or hallways.
I was struggling with a small laptop but now that I retrieved a monitor from the office I feel like “I can breathe again”.
We are almost paperless in the office on a regular basis, so the current situation is not really that different. I am trying to stick to the routine I had in the office, including the 10:00 am coffee break. We all have our own working spaces at home, so there aren’t too many distractions around during the “work hours”. And we are lucky, I guess, that the family dog likes to sleep a lot.
With such a great and versatile team here at BBS, and the technologies we already use, the transition to working remotely has been very easy and pain free. Having previously implemented a cloud-based platform to work from we already had remote access to our systems and did not have to figure out how we were going to continue to work and stay productive while at home.
Living with several pets… and my roommate (aka girlfriend) it is far too easy to get distracted around here. In my opinion, the key to staying productive in a time like this is to keep up with some sort of daily routine, whatever that looks like to you – I try to start my morning by doing an at-home workout or some yoga!