Lawyer Monthly - February 2022

care either at law school or while working in a law firm. Lawyers are not taught how to factor in the most effective ways to rest and recover in between intense workloads and to factor in time to prime themselves for the next ‘round’ of intensity. Initiatives that help employees recognise and break down the stigma around stress are the most effective first step for building a sustainable high-performance culture. The second step is to educate lawyers on how they can manage their stress levels with simple but effective self-care and recovery strategies that are optimised for the corporate environment. Building a culture where self-care and recovery become the norm after intense bouts of work means lawyers can effectively manage work stress and optimise their performance and wellbeing for the long run. What techniques do firms typically employ to ensure lawyer wellness?Are they effective? Firms are making a real effort (particularly post-pandemic) to EXPERT INSIGHT 63 FEB 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM be more proactive in looking after their lawyers’ health and wellness. The pandemic has put health at the forefront of everyone’s mind and, coupled with the remote working movement, has led to many law firms embracing digital solutions and searching for new and innovative approaches to ensure lawyer wellness. What I believe has hindered previous attempts to ensure lawyer wellness is that they were not aimed at empowering lawyers with actionable behaviours that are suitable for the demands of their work. Law firms typically employ generic ‘one size fits all’ solutions. I believe there is a very strong individual element to wellness recommendations. It is about providing a variety of options that can be tailored to individuals and teams to meet their specific work-recovery needs. What steps towards ensuringwellnesswould you recommend? For many lawyers the concept of self-care and wellness at work is novel; hence I recommend hands-on, interactive workshops, as these maximise engagement and help to break down barriers that may be there due to perceived ‘stigma’ around wellness. Wellness workshops are most effective when they are interactive, as this maximises attendees’ engagement and encourages a playful sense of curiosity, fostering camaraderie and helping to build a culture of wellness firm-wide that lasts. Above all, they work as well in person or when provided remotely. Howcan these be implemented effectively across a firm? The most powerful way I have found is to combine workshops with in-house coaching, which supports firm-wide initiatives but also allows me to give individual support to fee earners that may need it the most. These ‘burnout prevention interventions’ can be powerful preventative measures to support a lawyer currently struggling with work fatigue. Although outstanding lawyers have extraordinary lawyering skills, we do not necessarily learn about self-care either at law school or while working in a law firm.

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mjk3Mzkz