The WSJ had an article [paywall] last week about the number of Americans working remotely rising to 20% as part of an inexorable trend.
The legal world is in front of that trend. I recently saw a stat that 43% of attorneys work remotely. I would have guessed that the number is even higher.
If you consider talking on the phone and email communications working remotely–and I do–then most lawyers work remotely. The only real question is what percent of their time is spent working remotely.
A prominent Jackson plaintiff lawyer recently told me that he has been working from home for four years. It’s probably been ten years since I heard about several prominent local defense lawyers who spent many days working remotely from one of their multiple homes. Now it’s common for lawyers to mention that they spend time working remotely from home or vacation homes.
I’ve also noticed that there is no longer a stigma with being out of the office. In the old days, lawyers felt like they needed to be seen in the office all the time to prove that they were hardworking. Now, when lawyers are out of the office most other lawyers assume they are working remotely. That change in perception has freed up attorneys to work remotely even more.
As more software moves to the cloud, it’s easier to work remotely. The biggest thing that brings me to the office is my dual monitor set-up and phone headset. My fantasy equipment is portable and light-weight dual monitors that are easy to connect to a laptop like a Surface Pro. Once I get that, I can do almost all my non face-to-face work remotely.