Three in four lawyers burnt out

Nearly three in every four lawyers are suffering from burnout or worried about the condition, a survey of 1,000 lawyers has revealed.

Of the 1,000 partners, associates and trainees surveyed by law firm gunnercooke, 73 per cent said that that they were either suffering or concerned about burn out.

Respondents listed their chief causes of stress as long hours (58 per cent), difficult clients (38 per cent) and high levels of interruptions each day (35 per cent).

Difficult bosses and partners and strained relationships with other colleagues also featured in respondents’ reasons for being stressed. The most stressed age bracket were those in between 20 to 30 while those between 30 and 40 were the happiest.

More than half (58 per cent) of respondents said that a better work-life balance would make the most difference to their working lives. This was followed by factors such as less admin (50 per cent of respondents) and higher salaries (42 per cent).

Senior psychology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire Sandi Mann said: “The divide between work-life and home-life is becoming increasingly blurred. In these times of austerity, workload has increased across the board and so employees are having to take work home with them, or even on holiday, in order to get everything done. Having constant access to emails on mobiles, laptops and tablets also means it’s difficult for people to switch off from work.

“High stress levels among employees should be a big concern for businesses as it could cause backlash – if employees aren’t healthy, the business won’t be either and so it is in an employer’s best interests to ensure and improve the psychological wellbeing of their staff.”

Lawyer 2B’s stress survey charted the stress levels of UK’s lawyers last year, while Clifford Chance recently rolled out a trainee stress-combating programme across the whole firm.

Stress level vs hours worked

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