Trainers Talk from the Trenches: Transferring to Remote Work Takeaway

By Heather Morrow posted 04-20-2020 08:23


Trainers Talk from the Trenches: Transferring to Remote Work

Heather Morrow, Asima Macci & Greg Tomlinson


  • How are both users and trainers handling the change to working remote:
    • Challenges –
      • getting everyone trained in Zoom
      • connection issues
      • getting them used to Citrix and then training them on how to use Webex.
      • not all our staff is working from home - right now only attorneys, paralegals and training/support. staff is switching off one week at the office one week off - supplemented by PTO
      • We all use direct access and have been trialing work from home - but our main issue was our own network struggled with the volume of people working remotely, it was very slow until we managed to get extra bandwidth from our telecom’s provider
      • Updating guides and answering questions (helpdesk) is time consuming but no one else sees how busy I am (like they used to when in our office)
      • people are insisting on individual training UGH
      • This has exposed the attorney’s technology weaknesses and learning gaps
      • What about those without dual screens?
        • For those with one monitor, teach them how to use Task View to have their screens pop up so they can quickly pick the one they want. Also teach them how to do split screen so they can have two documents side by side on one screen.
      • We stress to always use telephone for audio and not computer. We had so much people at first try using the computer for audio and they couldn't figure out if their equipment had a microphone or how to mute or adjust the volume.
      • Missing hands on training
    • Pros -
      • Accelerated the pace of our rollouts of iTimekeep, Teams and Zoom.
      • But we have direct access, and can also remote into the office …. all our attorneys were already used to working... paralegals and secretaries were mostly set up already at home with their own equipment, so just needed to provide for others from our pool of left over laptops (we had JUST give all the attorneys new laptops) so we had plenty
      • being able to catch up on cleaning up/generating documentation. creating videos, etc.
      • Much better than expected! Thankfully we finally rolled out laptops to the firm last year.  Same issue with some users not having home wifi. 
      • It was frantic to get everyone up to speed but everyone seems to be embracing it and a lot of technology change is coming in which we have wanted for the last couple of years. Who knew a pandemic would force the issue of technology upgrades?!
      • We developed a packet for people to take home (WFH). Had already trained most on Zoom (we were going to Zoom anyway). Got 50% up and running from home using Citrix (staff). Attorneys were already used to working from home. Even HR has hosted Zoom meetings for each office.
      • Rollout Zoom immediately, we did not have it in our environment and the attorneys have been great.
      • We did a test work from home day on March 13- so prepared ALL for that, and never went back to the office.... a few people go in once in a while, for a big printing filing (depends on the court), and in IT we go in at least once a week at separate times to check everything there....
      • We also have our Central services people (Ricoh) in the office from 9 am to 3 pm to sort the mail, scan important mail and email it to the recipient, help who ever MIGHT be in the office, and take deliveries from couriers. etc.
      • We have found within our group; it has brought us closer together!
      • learning about being more self-sufficient
      • One thing about this, the Secretaries and Paralegals have become MUCH more self-sufficient - taking their time to figure out how to do things, when they used to call off the top of the hat.... THAT has been marvelous!!!!
      • Did everyone know you can use Zoom to "control" someone's computer? I have need to physically show older attorneys how to do something, and Zoom lets me take control of their mouse and show them what I need to do
    • Best practices for using collaboration platforms and for attorneys
      • Promote webex
        • Dial in separately to join for better audio
        • Call me is more cost effective for the firm
      • For training - We have gone for more ad hoc and HIGH attendance rate. But being open for questions.  Record everything and publishing on Microsoft Stream internal.
      • Zoom Security Best Practice Settings:
        • Play sound when participants join or leave. If you have a larger meeting and prefer not to have a sound, this can be disabled when you are setting up your meeting invitation.
        • Mute participants upon entry. The participant can then unmute themselves as needed.
        • Video is not automatically enabled. The participant can then turn on their video, as needed.
        • A password is required when scheduling new meetings/webinars.
        • A telephone password is required.
        • For participants joining by phone only, they must record their voice, to be announced at meeting entry.
        • Internal participants will be allowed automatically into the meeting using the link.
        • External participant’s will be placed in a Waiting Room and must be approved by the host.
        • External guest participants must self-identify when joining the meeting/webinar.
        • Participants cannot save the chat.
        • Removed participants cannot rejoin a meeting/webinar.
        • Recording is only allowed by host.
      • How has your training content and delivery transformed with the new remote situation?
        • Having daily 15-30-minute webinars
          • Boosted attendance
          • Provide links to recordings
        • We are doing Wednesday WebEx with 2 sessions an people are really jumping on board.
        • we send out monthly webinar schedule with about 25-30 classes
        • When not training, I create content for our LMS. Working on a new application Resource Scheduler which technically won't be launched until we're back in the office, but I'm glad I have the time right now to work on it.
        • We used Readytalk which has went to GlobalMeet- can use internal and external
        • We initially had Working From Home (WFH) trainings to get everyone up to speed (we recorded them and now they are in Stream). Now we are going back to our regular training schedule in addition to our New Hire training (they are still coming in).
        • We have done a mix of work & personal - Todays topic is the digital YOU about data leakage, phishing, good password management
        • Mute is a Must!
        • We added additional webinars to our regular schedule that focused on remote tools: Citrix, Zoom, Jabber, DocuSign, eNotarize, etc.  Over the first four weeks, we added ~90 additional webinars on these topics.  We also rolled out Teams last week for internal collaboration and are doing tons of webinars on this.  We have used Adobe Connect for years and continue to use that platform for all webinars.
        • I just learned about Krisp, an noise cancelling app that integrates with Zoom, WebEx, Skype, etc. One the issues with mute for new users is that they still have noise in the background once they unmute.  Krisp kills the background noise and appears to really work well with feedback issues as well.
      • How to tips for keeping virtual learners engaged and getting people who never thought they would work at home to do so?
        • We took a different approach; we took the list of attorneys, divided and called each one to check in.
        • Technology in the here and now has helped keep training going
        • “Coffee with the Coaches” – training sessions where staff can come with issues or questions that are worked through. (Virtual Tech Lounge)
        • Virtual Background Contest
        • Happy Hour
        • 1-to-1 coaching
      • What and when are different forms of communication being used?
        • Using videos more (how to) but added in a personal factor
        • We discovered our attorneys are finally reading my IT INFO emails much more (because it's dealing with what they NEED to do NOW).
        • Emails, blogs, Zoom, classes,
        • Yammer
        • Teams
        • Rise
        • We are using Jabber and I really like the video feature of that. That way I can communicate easily with my co-workers and see them. 
        • the Practice Groups ARE using SLACK a LOT for their team messaging work and sharing :)
        • Skype for Business
        • We have a Tip of the Day website that has daily tips going back several years. Since being remote, we focus the tips on "working remotely" topics and now email them out every day.  This has been very well received. 
        • Our Firm's Managing Partner sends out a VIDEO to everyone in the firm (the same video) each Friday as to status, what's going on, praise for this person or the other, congregations last week who has been at the firm 35 years... and so on - well done and good connection
        • Water Cooler Virtual Connection
      • How are you managing your time working from home?
        • Zero boundaries
        • Creating a reverence guide
        • Put computer away at the end of the day
        • Same hours just no commute
        • Time management
        • Working more now that I am home
        • i act like i am going to work - with the getting ready, dressed, etc. i am appreciative of being able to have a quiet environment to record training videos - i don't have any distractions at home, so this is nice
        • fully shut down my computer and turn off notifications when I’m not working.
        • Clock out and 5 and that is it till the morning
        • problem is attorneys expect support 24 hours a day, just because they can work 24 hours a day.
        • Agree - no boundaries and feel like I must "always" be available. It's a struggle.
        • Turning on out of office
        • I started drinking of a smaller glass of water to force met to get up and refill more often.
        • What’s a boundary?

For more tips and tricks, don't miss the On-Demand Webinar:  Tips and Tricks for preparing a Remote Workforce 
1 comment



04-24-2020 12:06

Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting! I don't know how I missed this, but thanks to these notes, I feel like I was there.