Effective ways to reduce employee workload in your law firm


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The legal industry is almost notorious for glamorizing hustle culture. In fact, a startling number of legal professionals believe that overworking is the only way to get ahead, whether they’ve been involved in the industry for several years or have signed their first contract out of law school.

For example, a recent study found that “the average lawyer works 49.7 hours per week,” though many work between 50-70 hours. Given that a typical worker in the US will work around 40 hours, this is a significant amount of time. 

While hard work and determination will always be “essential” requirements when working in the legal sector, they should not come at the expense of employee wellbeing – which is the ultimate price of hustle culture.

What are the dangers associated with hustle culture?

The main danger associated with hustle culture is employee burnout. When individuals are overwhelmed with their workload or juggling numerous deadlines at once, they’re likely to deal with high levels of stress and anxiety. Not only will this impact workplace performance, but it could also mean that they lose interest in what they are doing. 

Similarly, companies where burnout is a common occurrence rather than a rarity will experience high levels of employee turnover. This could damage your reputation as an employer, making it harder and harder to fill vacancies.

Hustle culture often encourages employees to work as quickly as possible. While this could make tight or consecutive deadlines feel more approachable, it also leaves room for more mistakes.

How to reduce employee workload.

Learning how to reduce employee workload is challenging, but it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you must start turning down projects or clients. You simply need to use your resources (and your team) more effectively.

The first step toward employee workload reduction is automation. Think carefully about which tasks within your employee’s daily workload could be automated. Automation technology can free up considerable time in your employees’ schedules, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks. AI technologies can serve a similar purpose. 

Following this, you may want to outsource tasks that are particularly time-consuming or require specialist skills, such as accounting or finance work. 

Speaking directly to your team, especially those who have admitted to feeling overwhelmed or overburdened, can also be transformative. They may be able to provide you with further insight into the root cause of their burnout. This will allow you to take action, not only to resolve the issue but also to ensure it does not happen again. 

While, as mentioned above, turning away clients and cases is not necessary when working to better protect your employees, there are some scenarios in which this could be useful. For example, it may be time to be more selective regarding your client base. If, from experience, you know that a particular client is difficult to work with, uncommunicative, or generally takes up a lot of your employee’s time, then you may want to refrain from working with them again in the future. Alternatively, taking on fewer clients but increasing your prices (within reason) can help protect your employees without harming your bottom line.

In short, there are many proactive steps you can take to reduce employee workload within your law firm. 

If you’re looking for an accounting team you can trust, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. We will not only take on vital tasks, such as budgeting, on your behalf but also relieve a lot of pressure from your legal team so that they can work more effectively.


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