What ‘outsourcing your admin support functions’ actually means

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Outsourcing your law firm’s administrative support functions can feel daunting, but has benefits for both your firm and the staff being outsourced themselves. This blog details what it actually means to outsource your admin functions, and how we work with support staff once they’re transferred to Intelligent Office, ensuring a smooth transition, and providing your firm with the best service possible.


The term ‘outsourcing’ is commonly used, but often there is little thought behind what it actually means.


In reality, ‘outsourcing’ is an umbrella term used to describe one company asking another to provide services for it, rather than perform those services themselves.


Outsourcing takes many forms and happens across industries and sectors. In the legal sector, this can happen when a company asks a legal firm to provide services, rather than having an in-house counsel. It can also apply to outsourcing administrative services to organisations with skills and experience managing the support staff who deliver those services. This is what Intelligent Office specialise in.


At Intelligent Office, we work with our clients—law firms—to take over the administrative support functions of that firm. The firm’s staff who perform those tasks become employed by Intelligent Office rather than the law firm itself (this happens via a TUPE transfer). The staff remain based in the offices of the firm, alongside other Intelligent Office staff, allowing for the smoothest transition possible.


How outsourcing your admin support functions works in practice


Whilst the change inevitably differs based on the firm and its processes— as well as the reason behind the outsourcing—we always provide a thorough and comprehensive service when your support functions are outsourced to us.  Our previous clients value our thorough and comprehensive service, high standard of work, and professionalism throughout.


It’s normal for there to be a small amount of disruption whilst your administrative support staff transfer over to us. Processes change, and your firm’s team must get used to new systems and a new way of working. Like any change, this can be a challenge for some. However, ensuring staff are supported every step of the way is at the core of what we do.


Here’s how we work with those involved to ensure a smooth transition:


  • Communication: Staff being outsourced to Intelligent Office are kept fully informed of all changes and developments, by a Business Services Manager. They are given support at every stage of the transfer process, and this support continues throughout their time at IO. We ensure the change is managed effectively, minimising disruption and providing continued service.


  • Opportunities: Intelligent Office teams are given opportunities to grow, develop their skills and progress within the business. This means they feel challenged and motivated, and ultimately provide your firm with a better standard of service. 69% of our team leaders and managers have been promoted within the business.


  • Team: We pride ourselves on building a strong and cohesive team atmosphere, where IO staff work for and with each other. We encourage the team to remain integrated with the firm’s team too, taking part in social events etc. It’s this kind of commitment to each other that means staff are willing to go the extra mile to get the best job done.


  • Recognition: Since day one we’ve been committed to recognising the hard work and commitment of our staff. Recent studies have demonstrated what we’ve known for over 17 years— employees receiving regular recognition are much more likely to generate innovations and increased efficiency at work.[1] We achieved the Investors In People Gold Standard in 2012, in recognition of our commitment to our staff.


It’s no secret that skilled, motivated, and valued staff are happier and more productive. Aon Hewitt recently found that an increase in employee engagement is linked to an increase in revenue growth the following year (Source: AON Engagement 2017).


Our many client testimonials speak of the benefits of our approach to administrative staff.  Although it is in our core values to facilitate a positive experience of outsourcing for both a firm and its staff, ultimately our focus is on providing a better service and we achieve that through great management—benefitting both those delivering it and fee earners.


If the benefits of outsourcing your administrative functions resonate with you, join our growing client base. Get in touch by e-mailing sam.nicholls@intelligentofficeuk.com or give us a call on +44 (0)7984 252 150.

Alternatively, if you’d like to hear more about outsourcing your law firm’s support services to a third party like us (and hear from the people who are currently doing just that), we send emails twice a month to our database.