More than a third of legal professionals considered quitting their jobs due to poor mental health

More than a third (37%) of legal professionals have considered leaving their role due to poor mental health and wellbeing, according to the latest research from legal tech firm Exizent.

Exizent conducted a survey of legal professionals to understand their experience of working life pre- and post-pandemic. Whilst the lasting effects of lockdown continue and the ‘Great Resignation’ rolls on, the results prove employee wellbeing and job satisfaction remain paramount in this new world of work. The majority of respondents said that workplace stress has impacted their mental health while more than half (56%) said stress at work has caused them to make mistakes; as a result, half (49%) admit these workplace challenges and stresses have caused them to look for a new job.

The survey also discovered that workplace stress is affecting legal professional’s personal lives – two fifths (40%) of respondents said workplace challenges and stresses had a negative impact on their home/family life and 69% said the stress of work affects their sleep. Furthermore, 44% said it had a negative impact on their mental health and 38% said it had a negative impact on their physical health. One-in-five have had to take time off work as a result.

While 16% said their employer offering mental health support would help, most wanted more practical solutions to help ease the burden and relieve stress, with 58% saying their employer could hire more staff to improve their working life and wellbeing, half (44%) saying improved working practices and processes are needed, and a third (35%) calling for improved software.

Nick Cousins, founder and CEO of Exizent said: “While it is not a surprise that the pandemic has impacted the legal profession, what is shocking is just how much of an impact it is still having on both the working and home lives of those working in the sector, with as many as 37% of respondents saying they have even considered quitting their jobs to try and relieve the stress they are under and protect their mental health and wellbeing. The research shows that there are a few key factors driving these issues, one of which is inefficient practices and a lack of investment in software.

“And the fact that legal professionals are so stressed that it is affecting their work and their homelives is hugely concerning, the good news is that with better investment in tech a great deal of this can be mitigated. More than a third (37%) of respondents 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. Therefore, there is a huge opportunity here for legal firms to look at tech investment, because it will not only help improve efficiency, but also help improve wellbeing for their staff.”

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