It occurred to me the other day during my commute to our new London office how much of our time we spend plugged into our devices. At the time I took a quick poll of the people I could see on my train to give me an insight into how bad the problem was. Each and every one I could see was either in some zombie like state staring at their phones with a bent neck like a naughty school child or tapping away on a keyboard, no doubt “putting in the hours” to prove to those in the office that they weren’t skiving off for the day. This is of course not a new phenomenon and has been this way for many years but I do believe we have now reached the point of no return. With this I mean that we are now so connected to our phones in a way that we can’t begin to comprehend that a world without them is a fantasy which will be written about in the story books for years to come… a bit dramatic I know! We are well and truly blinded by the fact that we cannot go a minute without checking our social media threads, seeing what emails we have (and responding), perusing news sites, checking our messages, finding out how many steps we’ve taken that day or what the dog is up to on the webcam we had set up. The simple view is that we are nosey and bored, and cannot find peace by relaxing or looking out the window at our beautiful countryside, but my view is different. My view is that as humans we have an inherent craving for information and our phones have allowed us access to a very easy way for that to be communicated to us and in a quick way. And we are hooked!
ow you might be wondering that this is a strange way to start a legal blog and what does this have to do with conveyancing in particular. Firstly I must admit that I am one of you too. I have an addiction not to my phone but the information is provides me with. As a business owner and lawyer I would be lost without it and question how I would operate if someone where to take it away. I have a constant desire to know what my team are up to, to know what my clients needs are, what the latest legal news is, what Sarah is up to her on her holiday (I made that bit up)… amongst a whole host of other things that satisfy my cravings. Do I enjoy being this way? NO! Do I have to be this way? YES! We live in a modern world where technology is moving at such a pace that in the next 20-30 years most current professionals will be replaced with AI or blockchain technology. There is nothing we can do, we are allowing the machines to take over due to our demand for information and goods and the speed of which they are delivered to us. We want it and we want it now! We therefore have two solutions… we either fight against it, which seems really unlikely or we embrace it. We accept it and become at peace with this being the way we work, and have to work moving forward.
I am passionate about technology and in particular legal technology in my business. The legal world is notorious for being the tortoise in the race and is often left at the start line pondering about the good old days when we saw our clients face to face and had an hour for lunch. This service is still available for some, but I would hazard a guess to say that is not desirable for most. Why in a world when you can get next day delivery on most items and same day for some, are we stuck with an archaic conveyancing system where timescales have not improved and information is slow to reach the intended recipients? The answer is simply that we are stuck in our ways and are obsessed with trying to tell clients about how we do things rather than asking them how they want to be serviced. I am pleased to say that the legal world is waking up, albeit after a long hibernation and there are some great technology companies out there keen to shake up the industry and drag us into the 21st century and I am ready to take the ride with them. At evolve we have invested heavily in the last 12 months in our tech to ensure that our clients are receiving the information and communication they desire and at the speed they require it to fit in a modern world. It seems simple enough to me but I really do worry that some firms just haven’t got it yet. With technology far beyond what we can already comprehend why are we not allowing the computers to do the donkey work so we are able to focus on the bit we’re good at.. the law!
I will no doubt continue to be a prisoner to my phone but I am at peace with this and are happy enough to say that I now accept it and embrace it. The ability for me to access all our systems with a click of a few buttons excites me. It means I can better serve my clients wherever I may be and at whatever time. It means I can carry clients cases files around with me on my phone without the need for a briefcase or heavy files. This makes me and more importantly my day flexible and puts me inline with the way my clients work and how they want me to work. If the competition wish to stay left behind then that works for us. In the future I will continue to research, invest and embrace technology to ensure that we are working in the way our clients want us to work and welcome anyone who wants to take the journey with me.