In the legal profession, workplace stress is negatively affecting over half of professionals’ wellbeing and their mental health.
Further, almost half say that their quality of work and service suffers due to overworking and one-fifth have had to take time off due to stress.
This is according to a survey by Exizent, conducted to understand the experience of legal professionals’ working life pre- and post- pandemic.
Whilst the lasting effects of lockdown continue and the “Great Resignation” rolls on, the results prove employee wellbeing and job satisfaction remain paramount in this new world of work.
However, employers are not taking heed of legal professionals saying that workplace stress has caused them to make mistakes (56%).
Because of this, half (49%) admit to looking for a new job.
Why Are Legal Professionals Stressed?
Two-in-five say inefficient working practices and processes are among the primary causes of stress.
The survey also shows that workplace stress is affecting legal professionals’ personal lives.
Two-fifths (40%) of respondents say workplace challenges and stresses have a negative impact on their home/family life. In addition, 69% said the stress of work affects their sleep.
Furthermore, 44% said it had a negative impact on their mental health. A further 38% said it had a negative impact on their physical health.
One-in-five have had to take time off work as a result.
Nick Cousins, founder and CEO, Exizent explains: “While it is not a surprise that the pandemic has impacted the legal profession, what is shocking is just how much of an impact it is still having on both the working and home lives of those working in the sector.
“With as many as 37% of respondents saying they have even considered quitting their jobs to try and relieve the stress they are under and protect their mental health and wellbeing.”
What Can Employers Do To Help Legal Professionals’ Mental Health?
While 16% say their employer offering mental health support would help, most want practical solutions to help ease the burden and relieve stress.
Moreover, 58% say their employer could hire more staff to improve their working life and wellbeing.
Half (44%) express they need improved working practices and processes, with a third (35%) calling for improved software.
“The research shows that there are a few key factors driving these issues, one of which is inefficient practices and a lack of investment in software,” he continues.
“The fact that legal professionals are so stressed that it is affecting their work and their homelives is hugely concerning.
“The good news is that with better investment in tech a great deal of this can be mitigated.”
According to the CEO, over a third of survey respondents’ employers have not invested in any software at all to help support the “new normal”.
Further, legal professionals say that better working practices, processes and software can improve their workload.
“Therefore, there is a huge opportunity here for legal firms to look at tech investment. Because it will not only help improve efficiency but also help improve wellbeing for their staff,” he concludes.