U.S. law firms are increasingly turning to legal process outsourcing as a strategic solution to streamline operations and enhance productivity. One standout destination for legal support outsourcing is the Philippines. Renowned for its skilled workforce, the Philippines offers a vibrant outsourcing industry that has risen to the task of supporting U.S. businesses. The benefits of outsourcing to the Philippines are substantial, including reduced workload, smoother operations, increased productivity, and significant cost savings. While there’s some initial hesitation regarding the Philippines/U.S. time zone difference, it actually presents a unique advantage, allowing for round-the-clock operations and timely responses to client needs.
Time Zone Myths Debunked
The Philippines is 13 to 16 hours ahead of U.S. time zones, presenting a perceived challenge in maintaining seamless communication and operational efficiency. Here we debunk myths around perceived time zone barriers.
Myth #1: Workers in Different Time Zones Cannot Accommodate U.S. Daytime Work Schedules
Staff in the Philippines are accustomed to collaborating with employers in different time zones, often adjusting their schedules to accommodate night shifts for real-time collaboration. Remote staff in the Philippines are well-versed in this dynamic.
Myth #2: Constant Supervision Is Required
Not with a client engagement team and team leaders. These roles are crucial for effective management and communication, serving as a bridge between the iFive Global legal outsource team and clients across different time zones.
Myth #3: Time Zone Differences Lead to Communication Barriers
Modern communication tools and strategies can mitigate this issue. Regularly scheduled meetings, real-time collaboration platforms, and clear communication protocols can foster effective communication – regardless of which time zone participants are joining from.
Myth #4: Quality Suffers When Working in Different Time Zones
Quality is more a factor of effective communication, collaboration, and the skill of the workforce rather than geographical location. Outsourced teams in countries like the Philippines often have a strong educational background and extensive training, ensuring that the quality of work meets or exceeds expectations.
Myth #5: Teams in Different Time Zones May Lack Accountability
Accountability is a matter of clear expectations, regular feedback, and effective project management. Outsourced teams are often highly motivated to deliver quality work, as their success is intertwined with the success of the client. With proper communication and monitoring mechanisms in place, accountability can be maintained.
Strategies for Making Differing Time Zones Work for Your Firm
When working with a legal process outsourcing provider in an alternate time zone, there are a few strategies to help mitigate any potential challenges. The norm is for outsourced teams to work within the clients preferred time zone but exploring these strategies for a full-coverage workflow, potentially increasing your billable hours, could be advantageous.
Implementing a Flexible Hours System
Adopting a system of flexible working hours can be an effective strategy to align your daily operations in the U.S. with your team in the Philippines. By adjusting the work schedules of your Philippine team to overlap with your in-house team’s hours, you can facilitate real-time communication and collaboration. This flexibility ensures that there’s always someone available during the critical hours, enhancing productivity and ensuring continuous workflow. Plus, the energetic business park environment in the Philippines supports this approach, with its infrastructure and workforce well-adapted to accommodate various working hours, further supporting a smooth and efficient partnership.
Embrace the Continuous Workflow
Having a legal outsource team – made up of virtual assistants, case managers, and intake specialists – available during U.S. business hours provides numerous benefits. The Continuous Workflow method, works well here, allowing high-touch tasks to be done during U.S. business hours and other back-office or support tasks to be completed while the U.S.-based teams rest. This approach supercharges team output, streamlining project delivery and potentially increasing billable hours, as tasks are handled around the clock.
Leverage Differing Time Zones To Provide 24/7 Coverage
The availability of a legal outsource team during U.S. business hours ensures 24/7 customer support, a valuable asset for law firms with time-based and often urgent client needs. Many firms find that having their team work schedules like Tuesday through Sunday or Sunday through Thursday provides ample timely coverage. This capability ensures that, no matter the time, a knowledgeable and dedicated team is ready to address client concerns, enhancing overall client satisfaction.
Your Legal Process Outsourcing Advantage
Collaborating with a legal process outsourcing team in the Philippines offers several benefits, one of which includes leveraging the time zone differences to your advantage. Outsourcing provides law firms with the flexibility they need to structure teams and operations efficiently, maximizing productivity, and minimizing costs.
The key to success lies in choosing the right partner, like iFive Global, to unlock the full potential of collaboration across time zones. Embrace the flexibility, expertise, and cost-effectiveness that outsourcing to the Philippines provides, and watch your legal operations thrive.