Over the last couple of months, many of us will have retreated to home working. Our initial thoughts that this would be for a short period of time with a rapid return to normal now seem to have been naive. For many of us, we have had to adapt our skills considerably to using online methods of communication with our clients. Given that social distancing may be the norm for some time yet, we thought it would be helpful to send to our members some thoughts regarding the development of online collaborative practice. This is a process not just for pandemic purposes, but also for convenience, as many of us will have learned that work can be done remotely, rather than in person.
Collaboration was set up to bring people together. To do collaboration remotely may seem like an oxymoron. For our members who have conducted collaboration on an online basis they will have experienced some benefits and some downsides to this process. What we have produced here is borne out of the experience of our members. Any further or additional suggestions will be gratefully received. Our tips are as follows:
Whilst there are options within certain online facilities to have breakout rooms, it is a matter of preference for the parties and the lawyer as to whether they use those facilities or come out of any online meeting and have a separate discussion with their client if they feel they wish to do so before re-joining the meeting. Collaboration is designed to be a flexible and user friendly process, but it is robust enough to be adapted to our new normal.
Shona Templeton, Consensus Collaboration Scotland
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