Since my first outside hire in 1995, Assigned Counsel® has functioned almost exclusively as a remote, work-from-home office. In our 25 years of business, we have experienced myriad changes in the way remote work is conducted and is understood.
In Assigned Counsel’s early days, our first contact management software, ACT, would crash constantly because it was calibrated for desktop use rather than for a synchronizing network that holds more than 20,000 contacts. Today, our palm-sized cell phones act more like computers than even our old desktops did, with lightning fast download speeds.
As a business that functions in multiple states, we navigated the early days of fax communication, and then moved on to early generation scanning. Today, we take full advantage of the multi-purpose equipment that prints, scans and copies content in seconds. Speed and inter-connectivity are needed to assure prompt and accurate receipt and delivery of candidate information.
In the 1990s, remote work was rare and misunderstood, so dogs barking or children crying in the background during a call risked de-legitimizing the company’s commitment to our clients and the validity of our work. Today, the view on remote work has done a complete 180. And while we still can’t allow a screaming baby to take over our calls, companies worldwide have adopted more formalized work-from-home policies, so an occasional dog bark is met with a laugh rather than irritation.
An adjunct of conducting business remotely has been the elimination of a carbon footprint by the development of an end-to-end green process. With technology, Assigned Counsel account managers and recruiting attorneys are able to log client requests, research and connect with candidates, submit resumes and perform on-screen interviews, generate contract documents, gather time and submit billing and receive payment without a single sheet of paper.
Ultimately, I believe the key to our success as a remote business has been openness. We have always welcomed and explored new technologies. Our desire to understand and get ahead of growing workplace trends has taught us to adapt more quickly than some of our competitors. Facing and embracing these challenges has made Assigned Counsel a stronger company in the long run.
As we look back on our strongest quarter in 25 years, I am proud of our ability to evolve as the world around us changes. We understand the importance of leveraging email, LinkedIn and Zoom as parts of a business model that once was dominated by in-person meetings and calls. Conversely, we never forget where we came from and still appreciate the tremendous value of a personal phone call or a meeting over lunch. We’ve learned the benefit of staying true to our roots, and in not being afraid to grow.