The COVID-19 work environment has changed the way we collaborate with colleagues, perhaps forever. As firms adapt and make use of new technologies, they also are becoming more adept at using them. Several professionals spoke about remote collaboration tools they have adopted to maintain connections with their teams and clients.
The New Normal Prager Metis, a Top 50 U.S. accounting firm, launched a five-year strategic plan in 2019. A major component of the plan was growth, but when the pandemic hit, the growth team quickly pivoted and became adept at using tools and technology to communicate with each other.
Which Remote Collaboration Tools are Firms Using?
“We had no choice. Our clients depended on us for service delivery and we had to respond,” said Lori A. Roth, CPA, national managing partner, who is based in New Jersey. “We had Microsoft Teams before COVID-19, but now we really went all in, and our team members are using Teams video functionality to share and stay in touch.”
Roth said Prager Metis’ teams collaborated with industry group leaders to help them become better at using social media and other tools for brand building and their day-to-day client service delivery.
“I’ve come to the realization that remote collaboration is a discipline that demands the adoption of tools and procedures, as well as the willingness to master them,” Roth said. “In turn, we are obligated to transfer much of this learning to our client-facing partners who are our revenue growth producers.”
Roth said she believes much of what her firm has gained during the COVID-19 pandemic will become part of its DNA.
“Remote is the new normal,” she said. “We look forward to reopening our doors of course, but we’ve gained a flexibility that I doubt we’ll ever give up.”
Read more about the tools that have reshaped how people collaborate in the remote work environment in the Winter 2020 edition of Growth Strategies on page 10.
About Richard Shippee
Richard is an independent consultant working with the Whitman Business Advisors team who provides Marketing and Corporate Communication services to accounting firms and other professional services companies.