Despite efforts being made by some firms, new research has revealed the majority of legal professionals still think more attention needs to be paid in promoting greater work-life balance.
According to the 2019 GlobalX and Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) industry report, “protecting and improving the mental health of legal professionals continues to be a challenge for the industry”.
The research found 7 out of 10 legal professionals surveyed believe more can be done to achieve true work-life balance.
GlobalX drew on the research at recent ALPMA Summit, during which the team won a hackathon for formulating a standardised wellness practice model, dubbed Well Practice, designed to support the mental health of legal professionals.
“While concerns about work-life balance and mental health in the legal industry have been anecdotally reported for many years now, this year’s survey results and the popularity of our hackathon concept reinforce just how widespread these concerns are,” said GlobalX national manager of matter centre David Favretto, who lead the hackathon team in creating Well Practice.
“In the same way that law firms protect their computer systems by installing firewalls, they should be protecting their staff by investing in programs and other opportunities to improve mental health,” he said.
“Working in the legal profession is incredibly rewarding, but there’s no question that it can also be challenging and stressful at times.
“Our team is incredibly proud of Well Practice and we look forward to continuing to develop this resource over time to address concerns about wellbeing in the Australian legal industry.”
GlobalX CEO Peter Maloney said that Well Practice comes at a critical time within the industry.
“The hackathon team found that 90 per cent of respondents believe there should be a wellness practice across the industry, but less than half of law firms currently have programs like these,” he said.
“At GlobalX, we have worked hard to cultivate a strong and supportive internal culture, and we believe that a healthy work-life balance is essential for our employees and our organisation.
“We would be delighted to see this focus on wellbeing extend throughout the legal profession, and I’m proud that the GlobalX team has used the hackathon to take the first steps in creating a resource that can be used by law firms across the countries to ensure that their employees feel happy, healthy and supported in the workplace.”