Johnson Hana International https://www.johnsonhana.com Alternative Legal Services Thu, 14 May 2020 10:44:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 Remote Control https://www.johnsonhana.com/remote-control/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=remote-control https://www.johnsonhana.com/remote-control/#respond Thu, 14 May 2020 10:44:05 +0000 https://www.johnsonhana.com/?p=2000 The post Remote Control appeared first on Johnson Hana International.

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Megan Shannon

Remote Control

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention and since those of us lucky enough to keep our jobs vacated our offices abruptly back in March, Irish employees and businesses have embraced working from home in whatever way they can.

An Irish Times article back in 2006 stated that 8.4% of employees worked from home. They reported on the benefits and drawbacks of a policy that was very much in its infancy. Fourteen years later and as we face an unknown future, a remote work policy is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but an absolute necessity for non-essential workers to keep their business afloat and their jobs intact since the global outbreak of Covid-19.

Remote working has been part of the commercial world’s conversation for a very long time.Some businesses have been successfully implementing it for years. Some entertained the concept but may not have actively encouraged it. Other businesses simply never considered it as an effective way to operate.

For Johnson Hana, our entire business model is built on a remote work policy as a legitimate option in order to fully service our clients who work with us and provide an attractive option for consultants who sign up with us. It ties in nicely with our mission to introduce more flexibility within the legal industry.

Our clients are given the choice to engage with us in a way that supports their business – either through outsourcing the project to us completely or availing of our on-demand lawyer model where a legal consultant can work with them onsite or remotely. As a result, we have built robust systems that support communication to ensure everyone is connected despite the absence of proximity to each other.

Technology plays a big part and our professional project managers are a core enabler to ensure that our teams of expert legal consultants are at their most effective. The dedicated PM will monitor performance using the key metrics which are agreed at the start of the project. Weekly and monthly reporting and tracking provide insight into how the project is progressing, identifies risks or issues and provides us the ability to continuously improve or refine the strategy. Daily/weekly calls and check-ins are implemented with our consultants to make sure everyone is happy in their work.

We know that anything can change at any time and it is our job to keep ahead of what may affect our consultants and clients. Of course, no one could have anticipated what has unfolded globally over the last few months and the effect it has had on both our personal and professional lives.

For those WFH, numerous articles in recent weeks have informed us how everyone is coping with their new way of working. We are told that 40% of employees are struggling with remote working (study conducted by Behaviours & Attitudes, reported by the Irish Times 28/04/2020). The main influences here are inappropriate work spaces, poor internet connectivity, constant distractions and a blurred line between work and leisure hours.

However, it has been reported that 80% of workers will want to have the option of remote working when this is all over (Irish Times article 1/5/2020). The positive aspects can be attributed mainly to a non-existent commute, more flexibility over your work day, comfy clothes and more time for ourselves and our families. In fact, it has been found in a recent study published by NUI Galway that 30% of those surveyed actually claimed their productivity has increased (25% felt it has declined).

Furthermore, it has been reported that 60% of Irish Companies will be looking to implement remote working as the restrictions begin to ease. The same can be said for global companies. On Tuesday of this week, the CEO of Twitter shared a company-wide email which stated that they will allow their employees to work from home “forever”!

So it is clear, remote working is here to stay.

The question is, how will we navigate this in a more permanent way? Whether you are a team leader, team member, CEO or secretary, how will you take control of your team, your career and your working day?

There are articles upon articles which offer many tips and suggestions to help us answer this question. We know them all by now.

For employees; everyone from industry leaders and government officials, celebrities and entrepreneurs are encouraging us to stick to a normal routine as much as possible. Get enough sleep. Switch off your emails after your work day is done. Don’t watch the news too much. Go for a walk. Go for a run. Get some fresh air. Take breaks. Eat well. Relax. Set intentions, make to-do lists and practice good video conference call etiquette!

We have also been reminded to take this ‘down time’ to reflect. Do yoga, meditate, learn a new skill. Bake. Use this time wisely and creatively while the world is put on hold. The Earth is healing and maybe we are too.

For employers and leaders, the advice on what to do is during this unpreceded and devastating time is less straightforward. Not only have business owners had to face the fear of losing their business completely and laying off staff, they are also required to lead and inspire the team they still have.

When I think of what leaders and managers can do I think of the one thing we all don’t have. Simple and basic human interaction.

Simon Boucher, CEO of the Irish Management Institute put it nicely stating that because so much leadership is based on unconscious social cues, we don’t realise how much day-to-day leadership is done in a very intuitive and implicit way.

Right now, we are missing these informal, social and consistent interactions which we avail of so easily when we are sharing the same four walls of an office. No longer are we running into each other grabbing a coffee, or passing each other in the street. Our communication has become restricted to scheduled calls complete with a time, date and zoom link.

In an article I read in Inc.com, I liked the concept that leaders could focus on their ‘little voice’ – the words they offer daily, in small ways which talk about the what, why and how rather than their ‘big voice’ – which is the overriding voice of reason which only offers, as the article stated, “bland comfort and obvious perspective”.

Little forms of communication; a quick call or email, text message or voice note – anything small to suggest that you will be maintaining basic levels of human interaction could be the big thing that makes a difference.

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Johnson Hana and the Freelance Lawyer Movement https://www.johnsonhana.com/joining-johnson-hana/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=joining-johnson-hana Wed, 18 Mar 2020 14:03:39 +0000 https://www.johnsonhana.com/?p=1006 The post Johnson Hana and the Freelance Lawyer Movement appeared first on Johnson Hana International.

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Megan Shannon

Johnson Hana and the Freelance Lawyer Movement

At the start of this year I joined Dublin headquartered alternative legal services business, Johnson Hana.

We are a technology led company which offers two types of services to the legal marketplace so that it works better for everyone. That is; On Demand Lawyers and Managed Legal Services.

What underpins the business is an empowered community of smart-working lawyers who work in flexible ways to meet the needs of our corporate client base.

Having spent the last 5 years’ working in the legal recruitment industry focusing on the placement of lawyers in mainly permanent positions within the Irish market, I noticed some recurring frustrations among the many people I spoke to within the industry. The biggest drawback to the profession was this; practicing law can involve long hours and generally provides very little flexibility.

I remember reading an article in the Legal Gazette some time ago entitled “Life’s A Beach” which boldly stated that firms are now dealing with employees who “would rather have a Fiat at the beach than a BMW in the car park”. The writers had conducted a study where its findings suggested that the structures within many day to day aspects of practicing law in firms or at the bar were disadvantageous to not only women starting a family, but people who were involved in sport, travel or other commitments outside of work. The modern professional!

I believe that throughout our lives, the ideal work situation is where you can have a career which fits your lifestyle and that your career can adjust and change to still suit you, regardless of what life choices you make.

For lawyers – who are naturally hard working and ambitious individuals – I found that very little was on offer for those who wanted a better work/life balance while still taking on well-paid work. Whilst legal culture has changed recently and flexible working has become a significant part of the industry, there is no real flexibility for those who might want to practice their profession on their own terms.

I would like to point out that I am not referring to everyone within the legal industry, but to a distinct number who would like to know about an alternative as opposed to leaving the law altogether.

To me, sustaining the future of the legal profession in Ireland requires fresh thinking.

Johnson Hana was established to address the issue lawyers & flexible working while also offering an appealing service for our clients.

Our ‘on-demand’ lawyer solution means that corporate legal departments can bring in lawyers to support and assist their in-house team when needed, allowing the in-house counsel to focus on their core duties. Johnson Hana lawyers work on flexible and variable length contracts which can range from a couple of weeks to recurring engagements that run over the course of years! This makes life better for both sides; better pay for the lawyers, less hours and lower legal costs.

Our managed services model offers legal departments an alternative for completing legal and compliance work that sits beneath advisory. A lot of this work can be outsourced and can lessen the burden on the core legal team. To maximise the value of this service to our clients, we use cutting edge technology to reduce manual effort and repetitive tasks and provide clear reporting on our progress to ensure everyone remains on the same page.

We partner mainly with global tech companies, government bodies, smaller corporates, law firms and even start-ups, all of which have differing needs – be it plug in support requirements or large data outsourcing needs. As a result, we have constant options for lawyers who would like to practice law in a more flexible manner ; freeing up their time and energy to focus on other things in life as well as the law.

Johnson Hana lawyers will work with these departments either onsite or remotely for a fixed length of time and agreed amount of hours. Therefore, aside from the advantages of a better work-life balance, consultant lawyers can also benefit from a greater variety of work and a larger range of clients since you are in control of what work you take on, when and for whom.

To get information on upcoming projects, potential consultants can either contact me directly or sign up to our online portal. You will then receive information on possible options, tailored to you, while not having to leave your current job.

This is simply a way to get ahead of the curve in terms of how you would like your future to look. After all, life is full of surprises! There may come a day when you will want your work to suit your life and not the other way around.

If you would like to know more about what we offer, feel free to contact me at meganshannon@johnsonhana.com

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