Why workplace wellness matters
We spend a lot of time at work. In fact, the average full-time lawyer works about 50 hours per week (according to Clio’s 2018 Legal Trends Report). That can add up to 2,500 hours a year, which typically equates to more face time with coworkers than family or friends.
Technology has changed workplace dynamics significantly, allowing us to work faster, more efficiently, and even remotely. Immersing in this digital world can make work-life balance more challenging to achieve. Easy access to files and emails outside the office can make it more difficult to disconnect and take time to recharge.
As such, it’s important for law firms and legal departments to make workplace wellness a priority and commit to the health and wellbeing of their teams. Workplace wellness recognizes that an important part of overall company success involves being connected to the physical, psychological, and social wellbeing of employees.
Fostering workplace wellness
Studies have found that organizations with a higher score for employee-friendliness achieved better productivity and performance gains than their peers with lower employee-friendliness ratings. Combining wellness goals and career development can create a more positive work environment and more successful employees, as well as increase a company’s reputation as an employer of choice.
Since individuals are looking to work at companies that make wellness a priority, companies seeking to increase recruitment and retention efforts should put heightened focus on collective wellbeing to attract new legal talent and keep current team members engaged. In addition to physical health initiatives, employers should place greater emphasis on mental health, improvement of office morale, and increased overall productivity.
Holistic wellness initiatives look to combine more traditional wellbeing efforts with career development and may include learning and development classes, employee recognition, and workplace design. It’s also important to keep in mind that individuals are seeking personalized experiences in their wellbeing programs as certain initiatives that are important to one person might not be as important to another. Employers can anticipate higher participation rates with more personalized approaches to wellbeing in the workplace.
When a law firm or company demonstrates that they care for the wellbeing of their team, they automatically create a social contract whereby both lawyers and staff tend to work harder, be more efficient, and strive to do more for the organization. Keeping workplace wellbeing in mind during your legal recruitment process will also ensure retention of a healthy, engaged and productive workforce in years to come.
The Counsel Network specializes in lawyer recruitment and talent management services for law firms and in-house legal departments. If you’re interested in discussing hiring options, reach out to us for a confidential discussion.
Chaaya R. Jugdeb, Recruitment Associate
403.444.1767 / 647.484.8313