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« Above the Law Blog Finds Majority of Lawyers Would Choose to Work Fewer Hours for Less Pay if Given the Option | Main | Building a Better Legal Profession: Grassroots Group of Law Students Demands Commitment from Law Firms to Work-life Balance, Mentoring, Diversity, and Pro Bono Work »

Why Today's Technologies Make Telecommuting a Viable Arrangement for Law Firms to Offer to Their Attorneys

Telecommuting is an arrangement law firms should strongly consider as a tool to improve the work life balance of their attorneys. A simply fabulous article on the subject -- How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Telecommuting -- authored by John Halamka, the CIO of CareGroup (which operates the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts), appeared two days ago in the online version of CIO Magazine. The article takes an in-depth look at the policies and technologies necessary for supporting telecommuting arrangements.  While the article doesn't specifically address telecommuting at law firms, the issues tackled by Halamka -- the necessity of face-to-face meetings; productivity issues; infrastructure and technologies necessary to support remote workers; security and confidentiality; etc. -- are the same issues relevant to a law firm's evaluation of telecommuting.

One interesting sidebar in the article is Halamka's own experimentation with telecommuting and what he learned from the experience (after clicking the hyperlink, scroll down the page to the gray box entitled "My Personal Pilot"). Law firm partners might consider working with their IT departments to set up a similar experiment to see for themselves what is needed to make telecommuting a workable option and how they feel about it.

It's a long article, but we strongly recommend it for law firms looking for solutions to attorney retention issues.

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