- It is time to transform the legal profession and its model of managing the relationships of its lawyers and there is only one way: well-being
- Unfortunately, stress has become the mental illness of this century
Gone are the times when wellness was considered trivial, “cosmetic marketing” or totally alien to business. Today it can be written in capital letters. And also in the legal sector, although with very limited levels of professional satisfaction. This follows from Study on the health and well-being of the Spanish legal profession., prepared by Lefebvre and the Institute of Mental Health of the Legal Profession, through a survey of more than 700 lawyers, with figures as alarming as the following:
- Although 75% of lawyers are satisfied with their career, 3 out of 10 would choose another if they could return
- 80% suffer from stress, as most live in a state of permanent alert due to intense competition, marathon days, hyperconnectivity, the culture of immediacy or assumed multitasking and overload of work.
- 82% would reduce their workday and salary in exchange for a better quality of life to reconcile.
- After stress, the second health risk factor is a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of physical exercise leads the majority to consider it as a high (45.1%) or very high risk (15.3%) for their health. And 65.8% affirm that being overweight also represents a danger to their lives.
It is not just a problem in our country. According to a report published in 2018 by Iberian Lawyer about lawyers working in companies in Spain and Portugal, 8 out of 10 respondents have personally suffered or have colleagues who have suffered from mental disorders at some point in their career, caused or with consequences such as anxiety and the stress (79%), the depression (69%), alcoholism (27%), suicide attempts and thoughts (9% and 5% respectively), the intake of illegal substances (9%) and the consumption of medications (9%).
And the same reality in other jurisdictions such as the English or the American, with studies such as that of Beware of the law or the survey of the American Bar Association Commission on Attorney Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, which shows that 21 to 36% of lawyers are problem drinkers, 28% drink and suffer from depression, 19% suffer from anxiety, 23% suffer from stress and 0.7% have attempted suicide. .
Unfortunately, stress has become the mental illness of this century. According to the WHO, 1 out of every 10 inhabitants currently suffers from its symptoms, which is why it has incorporated chronic stress at work or “exhaustion“In the International Classification of Diseases. “Stressed people take two to three times as long to get things done. If I know there is a company with well-rested people, I would trust them with my company, as it offers more value for money, ”said Geoff Bird, a cognitive neuroscientist at Oxford University who raises awareness about lack of dreams about health. mental and physical well-being.
Stressors in the legal profession generate a significant lack of attention that hinders concentration, generates a state of constant hyperactivity, poor quality of life and, consequently, unproductiveness.
In this scenario, well-being explodes strongly to achieve the sustainability of the profession. He wellness It is not a passing fad, but a necessity that has an impact on the attraction and retention of talent, the reduction of expenses due to illness and absenteeism, the improvement of the work environment, the bond of belonging with the company, the image of the brand and, ultimately, from the income statement. According to the WHO, for every euro spent on health programs there is a return of 3.5 euros for the company. From the moment this reality has begun to be measured in economic termsand has direct impact on business, the sector is implementing programs that convert its healthy organizations and allow their attorneys “prosper in your emotional health, achievement of goals, creative or intellectual efforts, sense of spirituality or life goals, enjoy physical health and establish social connections with others “ according to the report Create a movement to improve well-being in the legal profession ABA.
Well-being as an engine
We must also consider that we have entered a more humane era. The dynamics and the “new normality” to which the COVID-19 has brought us has made us give up being genuine and give more weight to the values. We cannot hide or turn a deaf ear to the emotions and The speeches of the offices must correspond to the reality of their actions. New leaders and high-performance professionals grow from wellness, the conscience of the being and the consideration of our human condition in Connectionabsolute with our environment, in collaborative ecosystems and in which health is valued beyond medical parameters.
Well-being is a great engine for social and economic transformation. Companies are aware and have transferred the concept of Healthy habits to the daily life of its professionals, translating into the most transversal sustainability of their business.
There is a great change of mentality promoted by the new generations who want a full life, committed to the value of intangibles, emotional wages and fulfillment. The objective is clear, we want to produce more and live better. Therefore, it is time to transform the legal profession and its model of managing the relationships of its lawyers and there is only one way: well-being.