There is much discussion these days on law firms ‘going paperless’. There is no doubt that there are tremendous efficiency and effectiveness gains to be made once the law firm switches over to a digital environment.
The process, technology and change management issues involved in taking a firm paperless are far too complex to deal with in one (hopefully) short management tip. But there is one (often) overlooked aspect to going to paperless that can have a huge impact on the user’s acceptance and satisfaction with the paperless system that can be covered in a short tip.
Our tip here is to upgrade to allow for each workstation to have either one large (24” or even up to 28”) monitor or two slightly smaller ones. Most laptops today will allow ‘dual display’ right out of the box. Desktops may require an inexpensive graphics card to be installed.
Why go to dual monitors? The productivity upgrade realized by moving to dual (or one very large) monitor (that can display two pages or Windows comfortably side by side) has been demonstrated over and over again in law firms.
Dual monitors (or one very large monitor) allows you to have one document (say your research) open at the same time as displaying your active document. You only have to move eyeballs from one to the other (rather than having to switch between Windows).
You can easily copy and paste from one document to the other (*use Paste Special* and paste raw text to avoid dragging in unwanted formatting hitchhiking with the desired text).
You can display your calendar on one screen and your email on the other. Or you can run TweetDeck on one screen while you have email open on the other.
However you decide to use your dual screens, you will find that your satisfaction with any paperless system will increase if you can have greater screen real estate available to you (and to your staff!) while you work. Greater staff satisfaction means greater acceptance…and that means you don’t have to see red in trying to manage the change to a paperless office.