How to manage stress in the legal profession

How to manage stress in the legal profession

 

With the effects of Covid-19, in 2020, lawyers, law firms and legal teams have found themselves working from home on an immediate, semi-permanent basis. Considering that most lawyers are able to carry the majority of their work from any location, at any time, they are arguably good candidates to take advantage of flexible working.

However, as with any workplace change, culture, ways of working and employees are invariably impacted, and businesses therefore need to adapt in order to thrive in the new environment.

The aim of the article is to help legal professionals work from home more effectively, by providing practical advice on reducing stress, solving communication issues and managing remote teams.

 

Dealing with stress and mental health

 

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, lawyers who attempted flexi-working felt pressure to overperform. Law firms are a breeding ground for presenteeism – the perceived importance of being seen at your desk and hitting billable hours targets well into the evenings and weekends.

In a team, stress promotes more sickness absence, higher staff turnover, complaints, grievances and decreased performance, meaning that employers are addressing the ‘wellness’ issue head on, and certainly more proactively during the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

To manage the potential stress, flexible working requires a hefty dose of self-regulation. Here are a few ideas:

  • Define clear parameters with your clients and your team around when you’ll be available
  • Create a plan for your day, including a realistic start and end time. It’s important to switch off
  • Organise regular catch-ups with your team to avoid something important slipping through the net
  • Take regular breaks. You wouldn’t worry about taking a break for a cup of tea in the office – you shouldn’t at home
  • Speak to your team to make sure you have the equipment and technology you need for effective remote working, including high-speed internet access and any agreed-upon software
  • See LexisNexis’ practice note Dealing with stress and mental ill health in the workplace on th

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About the author:

Amy leads the content marketing strategy for LexisNexis UK, writing thought leadership and product content for marketing campaigns, insight reports and legal industry magazines. She is an established writer and researcher, having contributed in national publications, such as City A.M. and Financial IT. She is also one of the writers and digital editors of LexisNexis' insights blogs, the Future of Law and the In-house blog.