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How Real-Time Messaging Helps Keep Culture Intact—Inside the Office or Remote

By:
The NetDocuments Team
Feb 3, 2021

Culture has a direct impact on how your attorneys and staff relate to the organization, their work, and each other. Building and maintaining a positive, successful department culture can be challenging regardless of circumstances, but particularly when all or part of your team is dispersed.

Drawing on the experiences of one of the nation’s largest public universities, we’ll show you how real-time messaging can support a culture of efficiency, effectiveness, and collaboration while keeping your team in sync and secure—even when working remotely.

Improving Communication

Communication is foundational to the strong working relationships you hope to build into your team culture. But limiting communication to impersonal, perfunctory emails (and delayed responses) can make it hard to develop those relationships.

On the other hand, real-time messaging tools like ndThread or Microsoft Teams make it quicker and easier to reach out to others and get a timely response, even when team members are spread across different locations or participating in a discussion asynchronously.

“People can reach me very easily,” shares the University’s Associate Director of Legal Operations, “We have very fastback-and-forth about topics, and we’ve created that expectation of needing a response.”

Building Camaraderie

It’s difficult enough to foster unity among your team when everyone is sharing the same office space. When everyone is working from home? Well, that’s nearly impossible. Unless your team can stay connected through chat.

Daily communication in ndThread has built a sense of community and camaraderie among the University’s legal teams that they could not have enjoyed otherwise. “People post pictures of their pets, jokes, and news items. There’s a lot of social activity that people are missing while working from home, things they wouldn’t have shared by email,” he explains. 

Positive social relationships in the workplace help employees stay more engaged, experience greater work satisfaction, and work more effectively together, while avoiding the negative consequences of isolation.

Encouraging Collaboration

Though some attorneys have been resistant to it in the past, collaboration can be your legal department’s superpower. As your team is able to become more connected through real-time messaging, you can empower and accelerate collaboration between team members.

For the University, collaboration using ndThread has extended beyond specific matters to crowdsourcing solutions and support for office tools—bypassing the legal operations service desk (a win for everyone!)

Preserving Focus

A common concern with real-time messaging is that it creates distractions. But with a healthy culture around chat, the reverse can actually be true: Your team can more easily create defined periods to restrict notifications and focus deeply on important work.

In a time when lawyers’ work-life balance is even more threatened than usual, taking advantage of the ability to “go dark”—whether to focus or spend time with loved ones—can have great benefits for productivity and mental health.

Ensuring Security

Practically speaking, conversations between employees are going to happen, whether you have a chat system in place or not. So rather than leaving employees to find communication workarounds that potentially compromise security and compliance, provide a tool that everyone can trust.

As a satisfied NetDocuments customer for almost ten years, the University already knew about the unmatched security our solutions offer. So when they needed to get legal teams across the university organization connected with secure one-to-one and group messaging, ndThread was a natural fit.

“Security is of utmost importance to the University,” explained the Associate Director of Legal Operations. Now, their real-time messaging platform is securely controlled and managed within the University’s legal environment—and seamlessly connected to NetDocuments.

Strengthen Your Legal Department’sCulture with ndThread

Real-time messaging has the power to connect your organization and keep culture intact. But not all chat platforms are designed for legal work. In addition to the many benefits listed here, ndThread offers legal teams additional benefits like integrating document annotations in the context of conversations, easy message filing, and more.  

Learn how ndThread can help strengthen your legal team’s culture today.