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Mental health in the legal industry – The impact of COVID-19

Law - 14/04/2022

Since the pandemic, well-being in the workplace has become a much bigger priority across all industries. The legal sector is no exception.

Legal professionals are no stranger to stress. A recent survey by UK insurance firm Protectivity found that lawyers are the second most stressed professionals in the country – with 63% in the legal industry reporting stress daily. 

Despite the statistics, well-being in the legal profession has often been on the backburner. Fortunately, this seems to no longer be the case. How we can begin to prioritise well-being in the law has become a hot topic for those in the industry. 

The impact of Covid-19

When lockdown was enforced, many professionals had to adapt to a new way of working, including flexible hours and working from home. This gave legal workplaces and organisations a chance to re-focus their priorities on wellbeing. 

For some lawyers, these new ways of working have been beneficial. They’ve been able to improve quality of work, increase autonomy, reclaim commuting time, improve diet and exercise, and show the firms they work for they can be trusted to work remotely.

Mental health is more important than ever

Despite these positive changes, the negative impact of Covid-19 on general mental health has mounted too. According to data from the ONS:

  • significant numbers of people with no previous history of mental illness are developing psychological problems as a result of the pandemic
  • depression in the UK has doubled since lockdown
  • the NHS is experiencing a marked rise in people reporting mental health difficulties

In light of this, legal employers need to make sure their workers are being looked after. They aren’t immune to these statistics.  In a profession that’s already linked to high levels of stress, anxiety and depression, it’s more important than ever for workers in the field to prioritise well-being. Only then can they look after their clients properly and do their job well.

Reducing the stigma

There’s often been a stigma around mental health, especially in the workplace.  However, the emotional and physical toll of Covid-19 has brought to light the importance of work-life balance. 

Working from home with remote meetings has given colleagues and employers an insight into the personal lives behind the professional workers.  This intertwining of our public and private lives has allowed us to see the humanity behind the professional.

In an industry where overworking has often been the norm, it’s shown legal professionals the importance of keeping a balance, and prioritising their own well-being. Even if that means occasionally having to take a step back from work.

Time for change

The need for change is growing in the legal industry. Schemes such as the  Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) initiative have been introduced to create a more supportive and open workspace for employees, where talking about mental health is encouraged and part of the daily environment.

The pressure of workload is one of the biggest challenges faced by legal professionals. Delegating tasks that don’t require legal expertise can be a great way to lighten that pressure, such as outsourcing administrative duties, recruitment or accounts management.

At Numero, we work closely with law firms to make sure their accounts are always on the right track. We specialise in LEAP, giving us the expertise to ensure firms have one less thing to worry about. 

We’re here to work with our clients and make their lives easier. If you’re interested in lightening the load, outsource with Numero. Give us a call today to find out more.

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