Covid-19: The 3 things we do to promote a positive chambers’ culture
The practice management team at Gainsborough Law share their experiences of keeping the show on the road during the current Covid-19 crisis.
Our last practice management team meeting was dedicated to reviewing the effect the pandemic has had on the culture of our chambers. At a time when it is so easy to focus on negatives, we wanted to reflect on the positive things we are doing to support our solicitors & public access clients, barristers, support team and our wider community, during this period of unprecedented business interruption.
Much has been written in the media about how organisations will be perceived in the future, dependent upon how they treat their employees and customers during the Covid-19 crisis. Factors such as reputation, brand and employee engagement are all at risk of significant damage and will influence customers’ future buying patterns.
In the legal profession, we can sometimes view our chambers or firms as exempt from comparison with this general narrative. As such, we have asked ourselves to what extent do we invest time in considering the relevance of these factors either strategically, or in our day-to-day operations?
At Gainsborough Law, we have recognised through our team discussions, the importance we all place on being part of an organisation whose principles align with our personal values. We also recognised how this extends to our personal buying power and our individual role in society. Probably the subject of a future post!
Our personal values have certainly laid the foundations for us to build on what elements we already have in place to support the positive working environment of our progressive chambers.
So, what have we done in Gainsborough Law over the last 2-3 months to maintain a positive chambers culture, during a time of uncertainty and change for everyone?
Here’s our list of top 3 things that we’ve been doing-
- Recognising we’re all in this together. We understand that our clients are all experiencing different challenges at different times. We have done our best to reach out via Zoom, Skype or telephone to just touch base and share experiences. Overall, we have spent more time talking and listening to our clients. We recognise the two-way benefits this has provided. It’s been humbling to be able to develop deeper relationships with others. We welcome emails to email@example.com telephone calls on 020 70787286. We have also made it easier than ever to stay in touch by launching our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Come and say hi!
- Keeping the show on the road. As a modern and innovative barristers’ chambers, the lockdown presented us with little change regarding our clerking and administrative processes. We have always operated in a mostly paperless environment, with VOIP telephony and cloud-based case management systems in place to allow us to work remotely. Working in this way has always been advantageous to us, but in lockdown, with everyone working from home, it has given us a competitive edge. Our clients have been reassured that our services remain unaffected by the changes to our working locations. Importantly for us, we have avoided the nightmare of reactively figuring out how to transfer (overnight), our operations efficiently and confidentially, to follow government lockdown regulations. However, keeping the show on the road is not just about systems and processes, it’s also about the well-being of people and teams. Internally, we have all invested more time in talking to each other. Sometimes, just sharing a remote coffee or alternatively problem-solving or working on future plans. During busier times in the future, we aim to keep this going as we have recognised the value in team contributions and supporting each other. It’s also enabled us to brainstorm some exciting ideas for the future. It’s certainly kept us sane (almost!) while working from home.
- Supporting our community. Right from the beginning, we agreed that we would aim to support our community during the pandemic, in as many ways as we could. Here’s a sample of what we ‘ve been doing and plan to keep doing:
- Volunteering – supporting everyone to take on voluntary roles. From one of our barristers volunteering with the NHS, through to one of the practice management team leading Covid-19 village support teams in his local community;
- Supporting our local business service providers – from our business premises to our catering suppliers, we have been looking at ways to ensure we continue to contribute to their businesses in light of financial uncertainty;
- Offering career guidance and opportunities – ensuring that paid work experience placements, recruitment and career advice continues remotely;
- Promoting diversity and social mobility – seeking advice, ideas, policies and initiatives to help aspiring barristers who are traditionally under-represented at the Bar.
We recognise there’s so much more we can do! However, we also know the importance of keeping things realistic and practical during these times, as well balancing our own well-being. How are you keeping your own work culture positive during these times? We would love to hear your views and ideas.
Gainsborough Law is a boutique barristers’ chambers based in London, set up to service the needs of its clients in a professional, modern and innovative way. To find out more about us and our expert areas of practice, visit www.gainsboroughlaw.com.