Lawyer Monthly - February 2022

Since many lawyers are still reserved to open up about the stress they feel, having an in-house coach can be a very powerful way of changing culture quickly, as I am able to build relationships and deeply understand the work culture and work-life demands they face. I can then offer personalised self-care and performance coaching. Have you seen examples of positive outcomes of these methods in the past? I have seen dramatic positive outcomes from my sustainable high performance methods. I have seen ‘physically visible’ improvements (such as a reduction in panic attacks, anxiety or various aches, pains and tensions). However, I find the most long-lasting and powerful outcomes are the ones where I begin to notice a mindset shift around wellness at work – when I hear clients start to regain motivation and drive and re-kindle the passion for the law they once felt so strongly, whereas before I would get comments like: “I feel like I am constantly battling against a current”. It is gratifying to hear feedback where lawyers feel as though they are empowered and can take action against work stress, and where they now feel that the law firm is proactive in ensuring their wellness and performance. Another example is hearing clients say they feel more ‘health-confident’ when returning to the offices after long periods of remote working. What can be gained from adopting amore active approach towards lawyer wellbeing – both for individual lawyers and for their firms? At a firm level, it encourages a culture that understands the needed balance between wellness and performance. This is the balance required for sustainability, and the industry leaders of the future are those investing in sustainability. High levels of burnout, employee turnover and sick days within a workforce impact performance. It is therefore crucial to build a resilient, inclusive and diverse workforce for a sustainable future and to align the firms with ESG frameworks. Put simply, happy and healthy employees are more productive, performant and effective. By 2029, the Millennial and Gen Z generations will make up 72% of the world’s workforce. These generations place a greater importance on sustainability concerns and will expect more from employers on these issues. A company’s wellness strategy is becoming increasingly important to 64 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | FEB 2022 EXPERT INSIGHT I believe there is a very strong individual element to wellness recommendations. attracting and retaining talent, as well as cultivating a sense of ‘belonging’ and ‘loyalty’ to the firm to avoid turnover. At the individual level, it sets in an understanding and expectation in the lawyer that ‘burnout’ is not inevitable and one’s health and wellness does not need to be sacrificed for career success. By understanding how we need to balance work stress with recovery, lawyers can take proactive steps to perform self-care practices which are supported and understood by their law firm and team. Corporate wellness is a two-way street. Law firms have to play their part in fostering a culture of wellness, but so too do individual lawyers have to champion their own wellness. It is this negotiation that I am actively engaged in and one that I believe is going to have a powerful and lasting impact on the health, wellness and performance of lawyers.

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