Workplace stress leads 49% of legal workers to job hunt

poor mental healthHalf of legal professionals have looked for new jobs as a result of workplace stress, according to research.

Legal technology firm Exizent conducted a survey of 52 people working in the law industry, with 49% saying they had actively searched for different employment because of challenges and stresses at work.

More than half of those polled (56%) said stress at work during the pandemic has caused them to make mistakes.

The survey also discovered that two-fifths (40%) of legal professionals cited workplace stress as having a negative impact on their home and family life while two-thirds (69%) said it had affected their sleep. Furthermore, 44% said it had resulted in poor mental health and 38% said it had affected their physical health, with one in five having to take time off work as a result.

While 16% said their employer offering mental health support would help, a far greater 58% were of the opinion that more staff should be hired to improve their working life and wellbeing and to help ease the burden and relieve stress.

More than two in five (44%) believed improved working practices and processes are needed, and 35% called for improved software.

Nick Cousins, founder and chief executive of Exizent, said that while it is concerning that legal professionals are so stressed that it is affecting their work and home lives, better investment in technology could mitigate a great deal of this.

“Thirty-seven per cent said their employers have not invested in any software at all to help support the new way of working, and after employing more staff, the top suggestions from legal professionals on how to improve their workload was for their employer to invest in better working practices, processes, and software,” he said.

“Therefore, there is a huge opportunity here for legal firms to look at technology investment, because it will not only help improve efficiency, but also help improve wellbeing for their staff.”