I’ve posted about how Adobe Acrobat 9 can revolutionize your law practice by lowering operational costs and increased earnings. And there’s plenty more to be said on both fronts. But, in this post, I’ll switch my focus from hard to soft costs; i.e., “intangibles.” There continues to be an increased focus on “intangibles” in the workplace—the costs that, although difficult to quantify, have a direct impact on profitability. Employee engagement and satisfaction are intangibles that are linked directly to client satisfaction and retention, firm revenue, and firm profitability.
Similarly, employee turn-over can have disastrous consequences for firms that ignore the value of employee morale. The cost of replacing an employee is estimated to be 100% of the individual’s yearly salary for staff members, 150% for long-term employees and management, and as much 300% for junior associates when partner mentoring time is factored into the equation. Based on these numbers, a firm’s intangibles can have an enormous impact—positive or negative—on the bottom line.
And how can the digital office contribute to firm intangibles? The digital office enables firm staff to become more efficient in day-to-day tasks. Increased efficiency means more time for other tasks and different types of work. When freed from menial duties, such as repetitive copying and filing, staff can be given more challenging and substantive assignments.
The benefits of this should be obvious—a challenged and stimulated workforce is a more engaged workforce. Engaged employees are more motivated and that motivation leads to increased productivity. The more successes an employee experiences, the more engaged he or she becomes, thereby further continuing the cycle of positive results.
Additionally, the digital office enables attorneys to take their practice with them anywhere, provided they have access to an available internet connection. Eliminating the need for attorneys to be in the office just for the sake of being there, workers in the digital office find that “work-life balance” may not be as elusive as once thought. The modern workforce has made it increasingly clear that flexible work schedules are at the top of the priority list. And Gen Y workers, the most recent generation to flood the recruiting office, have their own set of demands; and flexibility is high on that list.
Are you convinced yet? It’s true. Go ahead, start a digital revolution!