Stress Awareness Month began in April 1992, with the objective of raising awareness concerning the causes and effects of stress in the workplace.
According to a recent survey, 79% of adults in employment in the UK commonly experience work-related stress, with just 1% reporting that they have never experienced stress of this kind. With work-related stress increasingly on the rise, now more than ever, employers need to consider what steps they can take to reduce this pressure on their employees, with some having already begun to offer dedicated days off for their staff to focus on their mental health and wellbeing.
But it’s not just up to employers to make changes to improve stress in the workplace. Stress Awareness Month is the ideal opportunity for employees to reflect on their own work/life balance and to consider ways in which they could help themselves cope with their work-related anxieties.
Addressing Stress in the Legal Industry
Considered to be one of the most high-pressure industries to work in, many lawyers are exposed to workplace stress on a day-to-day basis. It may even be that some lawyers reading this work on behalf of employees who are taking action against their employers in this matter.
With long working hours and sometimes onerous professional responsibilities, more and more lawyers feel unable to cope with career-related stress. LawCare, a leading mental health charity dedicated to those in the legal sector, has reported a rise in the number of lawyers reaching out for help with stress and anxiety. Last year alone, the charity received almost a thousand calls, webchats and emails from lawyers, with almost a quarter of contacts citing stress as their greatest concern. Worryingly, stigma continues to play a big part; the International Bar Association reports that over 40% of respondents to its survey “could not discuss wellbeing issues with their employer without worrying that it would damage their career or livelihoods.”
How to Manage Stress as a Lawyer
Stress Awareness Month acts as a valuable reminder to lawyers of the importance of managing work-related stress. So, if you’re one of the many lawyers interested in tackling your workplace anxieties, take a look below at some of the steps you can take towards navigating stress in the workplace.
Reflect on your Day-to-Day Work Life
Firstly, why not reflect a little on your day-to-day work routine, from the moment you sit down at your desk in the morning, to the moment you stop (or even perhaps don’t?) in the evening? Are there patterns you can spot, triggers that turn productive pressure into unwelcome stress? What opportunities might there be to build small stress-relievers into your day? From a short walk to swapping the odd coffee for a glass of water, small things can often help more than we think.
Identify Areas that Require Change
Once you have a better understanding of the relationship between your everyday work life and the stress you are experiencing, you can begin to pinpoint the specific areas of your typical day and work pattern that are causing you the biggest problems. From long working hours to poor work station layout or even a work environment that could do with a tidy-up, identifying areas that are contributing to stress levels means you can improve things in big and small ways.
Build a Career that Suits your Needs
According to the latest survey, “work-related office politics” is now the most common cause of work-related stress, at a staggering 37%. If you’re one of the many experiencing this kind of stress, you may feel that a change in the way you practice law is part of the solution. If you love the law but don’t like the stresses of traditional legal practice, Carbon Law Partners can help you to build a career that best suits your needs.
Our brand, platform and supportive team will provide you with everything you need to develop the legal practice and services you want to present to clients. With the freedom to organise your work around your preferred legal specialism, your private life and your personal commitments, Carbon Law Partners offers a more flexible and personable approach to legal practice.
Freedom to practice in the way you want is just a quick call or email away, so please get in touch for a confidential and no-obligation conversation. After all, what better time to take that first step?