23% of law firms believe workplace stress and burnout are increasing

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Almost a quarter (23%) of law firm respondents believe that burnout and stress are increasing among fee-earning staff, according to research by Xerox HR Services.

Its survey of 70 UK law firms also found that 38% of respondents feel that fee-earning employees’ stress levels are high or very high.

The research also found:

  • 17% of respondents think that stress levels are high or very high among non-fee-earning staff, and that burnout and stress have worsened among this group of employees.
  • 95% believe that they should take a good or great deal of responsibility for their employees’ mental wellbeing.
  • 72% of respondents say they are very or extremely supportive of their employees’ mental wellbeing, which includes providing support measures such as taking steps to ease workplace pressures and putting activities and programmes in place.
  • Three-quarters (75%) of respondents offer all their employees educational programmes that promote good work-life balance.
  • 94% of respondents offer fee-earners the chance to take part in employee engagement surveys, and 57% provide mental health screening.
  • Almost half (47%) of respondents say they offer work-life balance, time management and delegation training programmes to improve productivity, and 45% do so to improve performance.

Chris Evans, senior consultant at Xerox HR Services, said: “While the survey found increasing levels of stress, we’re also seeing an increase in the number of firms looking to improve this situation.

“It’s important to measure and monitor the impact of each programme, collect feedback from the staff and explore what other support could be offered such as healthcare information or financial wellbeing guidance.”