Coronavirus – Practical help for law firms. Dealing with Post
We’ve received lots of queries from our clients through our Ask Teal Service.
In this blog we look at how to deal with post coming into and out of the business (we can’t say “office”, as this is not now necessarily the case).
Question: What do I do about post coming into the office during a lockdown period if our offices are closed? How do I collect and distribute it to staff working at home and assign it to client files?
Different firms will of course need to take different action depending on the amount of post they receive and whether their offices are closed - some may retain a skeleton staff to deal with matters such as post. What you decide to do will also depend on the extent of any enforced lockdown. One of the challenges here is the fast-moving situation that we are in. However, you could:
Consider redirecting your post
We have seen from news reports that, even in a lockdown situation, we are still able to visit our local Post Offices. Consider obtaining information on how to arrange redirection of post, if you haven’t done so already. You may decide to have post redirected to one or more members of staff at home to deal with it, depending upon the amount of post you normally receive. You should remind your staff to follow the current Government guidelines on travel and hygiene when visiting the Post Office.
Arrange for collection from a suitable Post Office
Another option is for one or more persons to collect mail from your offices if they are closed and for those persons to distribute post as necessary, either from the office or from home.
The most practical and efficient way of distributing post is probably for it to be scanned in and then distributed by email. You should check with your IT team to ensure that any person dealing with scanning is properly set up at home (or work), that they can confidently deal with scanning of documents, so that scanning is delivered in the correct format and, importantly, to the correct email addresses, given that many staff will be set up from home and working remotely.
If scanning is done from a home scanner and computer and then sent to staff working at home, scanned documents may end up on stored on personal computers rather than on office systems, which is something you will need to remind staff to avoid.