Guide To Working Remotely For Trademark Professionals
In the light of rapidly changing work situations due to COVID-19, trademark professionals may now be considering working from home or their organization might be introducing a remote work policy for the very first time. Remote working can help to protect the welfare of your families, clients, colleagues and your business during this time.
At TrademarkNow we have put the health and safety of our teams to the fore and we increased our existing part-time remote-work model for our employees to that of a full-time model. This ensures an uninterrupted client service and seamless delivery of all of our platform’s search and watch tools and functionality.
Looking more closely at how to work remotely as a legal professional, we have discovered that many of them have already been doing so. Remote legal work seems more and more viable in today’s technology-supported legal sector and our platform’s online solutions and products can help trademark professionals to continue to work with confidence from home, anywhere in the world.
With technology, you can continue to proactively take care of your legal IP work online and trademark management processes. You can run preliminary trademark searches, clearance searches, monitor third party trademark applications for potential infringements, research and review customer and competitor trademark portfolios and keep your clients fully updated at all times. All of this can be done while still ensuring that your client and firm data is kept secure and confidential. It’s a lot simpler than you might expect - if you are using any kind of computer program at the moment, you should be able to set yourself up to work from home with ease.
How to implement a new remote work model successfully
We understand that you are facing challenges as many organizations are implementing new remote work models and changing their operational and organizational processes. However, there is some basic housekeeping that needs to take place as you personally make the shift to working from home:
- Communicate changes to your clients and colleagues. Offer onboarding to clients to explain to them how you will continue your work and communicate with them going forward.
- Make sure that your home Internet connection is up to speed.
- Consider whether you need to use a remote-access virtual private network (VPN) to carry out your work securely. If you are using the TrademarkNow platform you will not need to use a VPN. You just log in via your web browser for safe and secure access to our platform and all of its online trademark management tools.
- Maintain the security of your client communications. Use encrypted channels to chat so that you can keep client information confidential. When it comes to report sharing you can download your customized reports as PDFs and email them securely through the TrademarkNow platform.
- Organize post-box forwarding with your local post office and get your mail redirected to your home.
- Stay in touch. Forward telephone calls from your office to your mobile phone. Or consider setting up a Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone service, which will enable you to make phone calls from your computer.
- Look smart. Continue to maintain a professional appearance during any online meetings.
Once you have your house in order you are ready to start working from home with gusto. With this in mind here are 11 top tips for trademark professionals to make the adjustment to working from home easy and stress free!
11 top tips for working from home
Look on the bright side. Working remotely has many benefits. Long commutes are no longer necessary and productivity can be boosted. It is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance at this time however and in this way you can continue to nurture and grow all of your business relationships.
Working from home also gives you an excellent opportunity to carve out time for tasks that are important, but maybe not top of your usual list of priorities when you are at the office. It is a chance to spend time on researching new business opportunities and new online tools to help you to work more efficiently from home. Many companies, like TrademarkNow, run online demos to showcase their products and services and you simply need to register online and add the date and time to your calendar and you are good to go!
Here are 11 smart strategies to help you to get the most out of your new work environment!
1. Maintain regular hours
Set your schedule, and stick to it (when you can). Clear personal guidelines for when to work and when to finish up can help you to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Installing an automatic time-tracking app, such as RescueTime, will enable you to keep track of whether you are sticking to your schedule.
2. Set ground rules with the people at home who share your space
It is important to set ground rules now with other people in your home or who share your space for when you work. If you have children or house guests they will need some basic rules about what they can and cannot do during that time.
3. Schedule regular breaks
Get to know your organization’s policy on break times and make sure that you take them. Give yourself adequate time during the day to take a break from your computer screen and phone. A minimum of a lunch hour and two 15-minute breaks seems to be the standard for full-time employees in most companies.
4. Ask now for what you need
Request the equipment you need as soon as you start working from home, or within a day or two (when you might realize you need something new). It's extremely important to get what you need to get your job done comfortably, including the right monitor, keyboard, mouse, desk, chair, headphones, printer and software.
5. Keep a dedicated office space
In an ideal world, remote employees would have not only a dedicated office, but also two computers, one for work and one for personal use. It's more secure for the employer. However, not everyone has the room for a separate office in their home, and keeping two machines isn't always realistic. Carving out a private space somewhere quiet in your home can suffice. Add some decoration to the area to help define it - a photo or a plant could be a nice homely touch.
6. Socialize with colleagues
Loneliness and a feeling of disconnect can be common problems in remote work life. Companies implementing a remote work culture should also offer ways to socialize online. Perhaps a chat channel where remote employees can talk about common interests or online meetups for people. It's important to work out how much interaction you personally need to feel connected and included and to mind your mental wellbeing. At TrademarkNow we use Slack to communicate with each other and our new Head of Sales, Daniel Comerford, just added virtual hangout Donut so we can have a virtual cup of coffee and a chat with a different colleague every week!
7. Show up at meetings and be heard
You will participate in video conferences and conference calls, but it's also a good idea to attend optional meetings sometimes. Sounds obvious but do speak up during the meeting so everyone knows that you are on the call!
8. Look for training opportunities
Research and see if there is a webinar, online course or podcast available that you could sign up for your professional development. This will have the added benefit of helping you to continue to progress in your career and also broaden your horizons at this time and become part of a new online community of like-minded trademark professionals.
9. Be positive
If you are working remotely full-time for the first time it may bring you a few challenges. Stay positive. Try to limit the amount of time you spend on watching the news or on social media. Reading motivational passages can help and when communicating with your colleagues and friends use your favorite emojis :D. A little goes a long way!
10. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Typically the most successful remote workers have a reputation for being very disciplined. It can take a lot of focus to get a full-time office job done from a home. That said, everyone lets their attention drift sometimes. Don't be too hard on yourself.
11. End your day with a routine
Just as you should start your day with a routine (getting out of your PJs perhaps?!), create a little habit that signals the close of the workday to you. It might be a sign off on a business messaging app, an evening walk, or an online yoga or fitness class. You might have a simple routine such as shutting down your computer and turning on a favorite podcast. Whatever you choose, do it consistently to mark the end of your working day.
As a trademark professional, with the appropriate support and preparation, it’s entirely possible to work remotely in today’s age of technology. If you equip yourself with the right tool kit, and follow a few key best practices, you can continue to run a successful and profitable business while providing good client experiences.
“Talkin’ Marks” podcast
TrademarkNow is launching a brand new podcast soon called “Talkin’ Marks” to help trademark professionals to stay connected and in touch.
In each episode our co-presenters, Gökcen and Zac, will take a look at an interesting and current topic from the trademark world and unravel it from all angles. They also plan to invite trademark world influencers and heavyweights to bring their expert input to the topic at hand from time to time. Please do get in touch if you have something to share with the audience!
If you love trademarks and listening to podcasts please join us and subscribe to our podcast now!