Why You Need To Take Workplace Wellness Seriously In The Legal Sector



In recent years, workplace wellness has (rightfully) been placed under the spotlight. This means that workplace environments or expectations previously considered the “norm” are no longer accepted by the workforce at large. In fact, a recent study found that “86% of workers will leave a job if they did not feel as though their well-being is supported.”

As such, it’s clear you need to take this seriously moving forward. This article will explore the dangers of a lack of wellness in the workplace, providing you with practical tips to improve it! 

Why is wellness important in the workplace?

There are many reasons why wellness is important in the workplace, particularly in the legal sector. 

Firstly, a lack of focus on employee wellbeing could put your employee’s health and well-being at risk. For example, it’s a key contributor to skyrocketing burnout rates within the legal sector, especially when employees feel they need to put work above everything else. While you’ll want your team to be focused and dedicated, this should not come at the price of their physical and mental health. 

Over time, this could cause employee absences or sickness rates to spike as they reach the point when they are simply unable to work as normal. A recent study found that “one in five working adults needed to take time off work in the past year due to poor mental health caused by pressure or stress.” While absences are often unavoidable, they put a certain amount of strain on your business, especially regarding your overall productivity levels. 

On a similar note, when employees’ wellness needs are not met within the workplace, their productivity levels are likely to drop considerably. This is because they’re more likely to be dealing with negative emotions, such as stress and anxiety. 76% of workers say they make mistakes at work when stressed, which could lead to numerous issues within the workplace. They are also much more likely to meet deadlines, which is particularly problematic within the legal sector when a lot of the work you carry out is time-sensitive. 

When burnout, stress and other complications become a real issue within the workplace, you’re also much more likely to experience high turnover rates. Not only could this mean that you’re losing numerous vital team members, but you’ll also face significant expenses. While the exact figure can vary depending on their seniority, replacing a salaried employee typically costs between six to nine months of their salary.

In addition to the financial challenges associated with this, you’re also putting additional pressure on your remaining employees, who are trying to fill the gaps left by the departing employee. This can create a vicious burnout-departure cycle that can be difficult to break free from. Over time, this could also harm your employee acquisition rates, as many job seekers research a company’s turnover rate before accepting a position. This makes it harder and harder to attract the top talent.

Finally, wellness is also important in the workplace due to its influence on morale. When your entire team is stressed or overwhelmed, the workplace environment can quickly become unpleasant. It also increases the chances of conflict. 

How To Improve Employee Wellness Within Your Workplace.

There are many different steps you can take to improve wellness within the workplace. Considering that 25% of lawyers report feeling the sting of burnout daily, this should be a task that sits at the top of your to-do list. 

Understand the causes of burnout and stress.

There are many different reasons why workplace wellness may take a nosedive within your firm. However, knowing the different factors that impact employee wellness can help you implement plans to protect your team. 

Recently, LSWU interviewed 300 people working in the legal sector of varying levels of seniority. When discussing burnout and mental health deterioration: 

  • 219 people stated this was triggered by long working hours or feeling overworked.
  • 113 people stated that pressure to meet deadlines was a major contributing factor 

As such, these are clear points that you should aim to target moving forward.

Make your office a safe space.

Only 55% of those undergoing a mental health crisis will confide in their employer. The reasoning behind this silence, particularly within the legal sector, is clear. Employees do not want to put their position within your firm at risk, especially if they feel opening up will make it seem like they are not cut out for their role.

Moving forward, you should ensure that you make your office (and the rest of your workplace) a safe place for your team. By taking active steps to prevent burnout and promote wellness, you’re creating an environment where employees are not ashamed or worried about the consequences of asking for help and support. 

Develop a wellness scheme.

Developing a workplace wellness scheme can also be incredibly beneficial during this time. After all, it means that employees have access to a wealth of wellness material and support they can rely on when necessary. Various different components make up a successful wellness scheme. For example, you may want to subsidise or cover the cost of gym membership and exercise classes, as working out is scientifically proven to be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety.

Alternatively, you may want to offer counselling or therapeutic support to your team so that they can develop healthy coping mechanisms. 

Final Thoughts.

Workplace wellness is something that we need to address sooner rather than later. Thankfully, it can easily be prioritised by reducing employee workloads and ensuring their needs are met.

If you’re looking to reduce the amount of work your team must complete without reducing your capacity, consider outsourcing accounting tasks to the team at FinOp Group. Get in touch today to find out more!