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Law firms urged to develop healthier workplaces

Law firms urged to develop healthier workplaces

Brian Smith, Gadens

Firms must encourage a culture that promotes good health and well-being to maximise their employees' productivity, according to a Gadens partner.

Gadens has been running a health and wellbeing program since 2010 and is the first law firm in WA to be recognised with the Healthier Workplaces WA Gold status.

Gadens partner Brian Smith said the firm has noticed a higher staff retention rate as its program has developed over time, and has also seen an increase in workplace morale.

“Law firms are traditionally known for their high-pressure working environment, unsociable hours and overindulgent functions, which are all factors that can contribute to poor health both physically and psychologically,” Mr Smith said.

Law firms need to promote ideals such as responsible drinking, exercise, healthy eating and work-life balance to improve attendance and retention rates, and increase productivity, according to Mr Smith.

“There is often pressure in a traditional law firm culture to work very long hours and to demonstrate that you are committed to your billable targets,” he said.

“Furthermore, taking time to participate in H&W activities, such as running in your lunch break, would not always be recognised as positive in some law firm environments.”

Healthier Workplaces WA is a state-wide workplace health program that awards businesses with a bronze, silver or gold status for demonstrating commitment to creating a healthy workplace.

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