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    Content Assessment: Balancing Onsite and Remote Review Risk and Reward? The Winter 2023 Document Reviewer Preferences Survey - Final Results

    Information - 95%
    Insight - 96%
    Relevance - 97%
    Objectivity - 96%
    Authority - 98%

    96%

    Excellent

    A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the post highlighting onsite and remote review preferences of cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery document reviewers in the winter of 2023.

    Editor’s Note: ComplexDiscovery regularly conducts non-scientific surveys to gain insight into the business of eDiscovery. These surveys include the quarterly eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey, focused on gaining insight into the current confidence of eDiscovery-ecosystem professionals regarding economic factors impacting the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services. Recently ComplexDiscovery conducted a new business survey focused on understanding the preferences of cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery document reviewers regarding onsite and remote review work. The new survey consisted of three background questions designed to provide context to core survey answers. The survey also consisted of seven core multiple-choice questions focused on factors relating to document reviewers’ onsite and remote preferences. Additionally, the survey had one optional question for general reviewer comments and considerations. The results of this new survey may benefit cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery professionals seeking to better understand reviewer economic and environmental expectations for both onsite and remote review work.


    Industry Survey

    The Winter 2023 Document Reviewer Preferences Survey Results

    Final Results

    Designed to provide insight into the preferences of cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery document reviewers regarding onsite and remote review work, the Document Reviewer Preferences Survey is a new survey that was administered for the first time by ComplexDiscovery during the winter of 2023. Today ComplexDiscovery shares the results of this survey.
     
    The survey results may be important to those operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem for two primary reasons. The first reason is that document reviewers have very pronounced preferences regarding their desire to work in either onsite or remote review environments. By understanding these specified preferences, law firms, legal departments, and service providers can invest in the environments and design compensation rates that best meet reviewer needs while still achieving business objectives. The second reason is that document review providers face challenges in explaining and justifying compensation rates to law firms and legal departments. With market information to share in this arena, document review providers may be better positioned to educate and inform document review consumers on reviewers’ preferences and how these preferences may influence compensation rates for reviewers.
     
    The Document Reviewer Preferences Survey response period was initiated on November 28, 2022, and continued until December 3, 2022. The survey was highlighted and promoted primarily by direct email from ComplexDiscovery to industry document review professionals operating in the eDiscovery landscape.
     
     
    This initial Document Reviewer Preferences Survey experienced a strong* response rate, with 515 industry professionals sharing detailed insight into their preferences regarding onsite and remote review work. While individual answers to the survey are confidential, the aggregate and unfiltered results are published to highlight data points related to the procurement, management, and maintenance of in-house eDiscovery. These results may be useful for legal, information technology, and business professionals seeking to better understand the economic and environmental factors influencing remote and onsite review work acceptance.
     
    Document Reviewer Preference Survey Results Abstract
     
    The Document Reviewer Preferences Survey conducted by ComplexDiscovery during the winter of 2023 revealed a strong response rate, with 515 industry professionals sharing their preferences regarding onsite and remote review work. The survey found that almost all respondents (98.8%) were interested in remote document review work, while only 19.8% were interested in onsite review work. When asked about the factors influencing their consideration of onsite review work, respondents cited a more flexible schedule from home, time and cost to commute, and more work hours from home as the top reasons. The survey also found that most respondents would only be willing to travel less than 20 miles for onsite review work, with only 1.6% willing to travel over 80 miles. These results indicate that document reviewers strongly prefer remote work and that law firms, legal departments, and service providers should invest in remote review environments and design compensation rates that align with these preferences.
     
    The survey results also showed that when asked about the additional compensation they would expect to receive for working onsite, most respondents (54.8%) said they would expect an additional compensation of $9 or more per hour. Only 6.6% of respondents said that no incentive was required for them to work onsite. When asked about the COVID/health risk precautions they would expect to be required if offered onsite work, the majority of respondents (69.3%) said they would expect air filtering and purification to be required, while 59.6% said they would expect six feet distance between seated co-workers and 59.4% said they would expect increased air circulation. These results suggest that document reviewers have strong preferences and expectations when it comes to working onsite, and that law firms and legal departments should take these preferences into consideration when offering onsite work.
     

    Document Reviewer Preferences Survey Questions

    n=515 Respondents

    Background Questions

    Background: What area best describes the geography of your document review efforts?

    • North America (US) – 98.6%
    • Europe (UK) – 0.8%
    • Asia/Asia Pacific – 0.4%
    • Europe (Non-UK) – 0.2%
    • North America (Canada) – 0.0%
    • Middle East/Africa – 0.0%
    • Central/South America – 0.0%

    Background: What area best describes your qualification to conduct document reviews for cybersecurity, information governance, or legal discovery-related audits, investigations, and litigation?

    • Attorney – 94.2%
    • Paralegal – 2.5%
    • Litigation Support Professional – 0.4%
    • Other – 2.9

    Background: What area best describes your current level of engagement in the conduct of document reviews?

    • Active Current Review (Currently Engaged) – 60.0%
    • Active Recent Reviewer (Not Currently Engaged, But Active in Last 24 Months) – 33.0%
    • Inactive Reviewer (Not Active in Last 24 Months)  – 7.0%

    Core Survey Questions
     

    1. Are you interested in remote document review work?

    • Yes – 98.8%
    • No – 1.2%
    Document Reviewer Preferences Survey Respondents Interest in Remote Document Review Work - Winter 2023

    2. Are you interested in onsite document review work?

    • Yes – 19.8%
    • No – 80.2%
    Document Reviewer Preferences Survey Respondents Interest in Onsite Document Review Work - Winter 2023

    3. What factors directly influence your consideration of onsite document review work? (All That Apply)

    • More Flexible Schedule from Home – 85.0%
    • Time and Cost to Commute – 82.5%
    • More Work Hours from Home – 77.5%
    • More Efficiency Working from Home – 74.8%
    • Proximity of Onsite Locations – 66.6%
    • Better Personal Obligation Flexibility from Home – 60.0%
    • Better Food Options from Home – 56.5%
    • COVID and Other Health Risks – 52.6%
    • Less Face-to-Face Interaction with Colleagues at Home – 25.4%
    • Other – 8.2%
    Document Reviewer Preferences Factors Influencing Consideration of Onsite Document Review Work - Update - Winter 2023

    4. How far would you travel round trip per day for onsite review work?

    • Less than 20 Miles – 38.8%
    • Between 20 and 40 Miles – 15.9%
    • Between 40 and 60 Miles – 3.9%
    • Between 60 and 80 Miles – 1.2%
    • 80+ Miles – 1.6%
    • Would Not Travel – 38.6%
    Document Reviewer Preferences Distance Willing to Travel Round Trip for Onsite Document Review Work - Winter 2023

    5.  If considering both onsite and remote review work, if offered the same pay and benefits, which would you prefer?

    • Remote – 96.7%
    • Onsite – 2.3%
    • No Preference – 1.0%
    Document Reviewer Preferences Preference at Same Pay and Benefits for Onsite or Remote Document Reviews - Winter 2023

    6. If requiring an incentive to work onsite, what would you expect the additional compensation to be per hour?

    • $1 to $2 Per Hour- 1.2%
    • $2 to $3 Per Hour – 2.3%
    • $3 to $4 Per Hour – 5.0%
    • $4 to $5 Per Hour – 11.1%
    • $5 to $7 Per Hour – 13.4%
    • $7 to $9 Per Hour – 5.6%
    • $9+ Per Hour – 54.8%
    • No Incentive Required – 6.6%
    Document Reviewer Preferences Additional Compensation Per Hour Expectation for Onsite Document Review Work - Winter 2023

    7.  If offered onsite work, what COVID/health risk precautions would you expect to be required? (All That Apply)

    • Air Filtering and Purification – 69.3%
    • Six Feet Distance Between Seated Co-Workers – 59.6%
    • Increased Air Circulation – 59.4%
    • As Best as Possible Social Distancing at All Times – 53.8%
    • Temperature Checks on Arrival – 29.7%
    • (K)N95 Masks Required – 26.0%
    • No Eating in Workrooms – 20.0%
    • Other – 16.9%
    Document Reviewer Preferences Onsite Work COVID Health Risk Precaution Preferences - Winter 2023

    Optional Question: 132 of 515 survey respondents provided comments or considerations that may help understand document reviewer preferences regarding the onsite and remote review. Given the range of responses and the detailed level of information provided, these comments and considerations are not published as part of this final results reporting of unfiltered responses.

    *Survey methodology focused on achieving at least 500 responses with the least number of emails sent to the ComplexDiscovery industry professional databases. This approach sought to minimize the number of requests for survey participation while ensuring a solid number of responses from which to generally assess market sentiment in survey areas of interest.
     
     

     

     

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