Nearly 70% Of Solicitors Suffer High Levels Of Stress
Two thirds (66%) of solicitors are currently experiencing high levels of stress, according to the latest findings from the Bellwether Report 2019 titled ‘Stress in the Legal Profession: Problematic or Inevitable’, published by LexisNexis UK.
It highlights that stress is an endemic issue in the legal profession but most solicitors working for law firms are seemingly happy in their jobs and confident about the future of their role and the firm that they work for, despite the industry facing numerous challenges.
However, the findings of the report suggest that there is an issue of stress embedded in their jobs but many feel that stress is part of their job description.
Over three-quarters of the solicitors felt that stress/mental wellbeing in the legal industry is a major issue, with 1 in 4 solicitors think that more can be done to support them in the workplace – while over a third of solicitors experience stress at work on a daily basis.
Jon Whittle, Market Development Director, LexisNexis UK said:
“We found a robust, optimistic profession which continues to believe that hard work pays off in a bright successful future. Last year the Government positioned the law as a professional occupation with the highest levels of work-related stress, depression, and anxiety which we believe is cause for concern. However, our respondents don’t agree on whether size of firm equates to stress levels. 55% of solicitors believe that enough is being done while 75% of our respondents feel that while stress is a major issue there is a sense of confusion and resignation in attitudes to it. It’s important to understand that while the future looks bright there are shadows at work.”
According to leading experts in mental health, one in four will develop a diagnosable psychological condition over the next year. The mental health crisis sweeping the UK has sparked businesses to look at their employees’ wellbeing, putting in place programmes to support employee welfare and combat stress in the workplace.
Due to the mental health epidemic, is it time for the wellbeing of the legal profession to be supported? One solicitor comments on stress and the impact on the legal profession, saying “There’s competition and constant pressure. It’s all about ticking the right boxes and saying the right things. I can’t see things changing.”
Being a conveyancer can be a challenging and demanding role, due to the fast-paced nature of the role, moving from client file to the next client file is a juggling act which can be stressful -especially on Fridays as this is the busiest day of the week for conveyancers where most completions take place. It is also commonly referred to as “Friday Fraud” where fraudsters will capitalise, due to conveyancers being preoccupied, thus, making it easier for a dishonest email to slip into the system.
Added to that stress is the clients themselves, with first-time buyers reported to struggle under the immense stress and pressure when buying a property, while a study, by free mortgage broker Habito, has ranked the mortgage process in the top three most stressful situations.
As a conveyancer, what do you think can be done to improve the mental wellbeing of you and your fellow colleagues in the workplace?