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Propel: communication in the time of COVID-19

  • United Kingdom
  • Litigation and dispute management

31-03-2020

With recent events rapidly changing every aspect of our lives, many of us will have already faced challenges as we attempt to acclimatise to our new remote working world.

Whether its home-schooled children reminding us we have no idea how algebra works; trying to drown out your partner’s competing skype conference call broadcasting from the hallway of your one bed flat; or feeling like you’ve conquered Everest when you successfully return home from your trip to the shops with a roll of toilet paper – discovering how to stay focused and ensure business continuation in the face of COVID-19 can be tricky.

In such strange times, the need for effective communication has never been greater. To help in this department, here are a couple of tips from Propel to help you promote effective communication within your teams:

1. Communicate clearly and avoid assumptions

One of the greatest difficulties with remote communication within teams is the lack of body language, or context of each person’s situation, when they’re responding to an issue. Texts, IMs or emails can be misinterpreted or not fully understood by all team members, creating uncertainty within your team.

This can result in a lack of rapport between team members, and leave them working separately, without knowledge of how their work impacts others or the project as a whole. To avoid this, communicate clearly about objectives, define who has responsibility for what, and establish clear consistent streams of communication.

2. Understand the new rules of engagement

With the new rules of engagement trigged by remote working, it’s key to understand that each person will need to adapt to new forms of working and communication. One way to do this is to make sure you take the time to organise and understand each of your team members’ new reality.

One solution is to ensure that each of your team members’ timetables overlap for a set amount to time each week, to allow for collaboration on projects. And if you don’t have a project meeting to schedule, then arrange for a quick social call to catch up and check in on how everyone is coping.

3. Manage with objectives and collaborative tools

At a time where everyone’s social and working lives are being pulled in multiple directions by the demands of self-isolation, managing with objectives is key.

One thing that can help is the litigation technology tool CaseReady, which allows teams to collaborate digitally in real time. CaseReady’s streamlined process of managing case materials avoids any duplication of effort between teams, with teams able to share knowledge and work product with each other on one platform.

Another benefit is that documents and bundles are accessible electronically. This way bundles can be developed, and annotated by the legal team, as the case evolves. With each of the members of your team working remotely, streamlining the traditional bundle collation process can help drive efficiency and cost savings.

For more information please contact James Barrett or Lindy Christine.