Almost half are ‘dreading going back to the workplace’

Legal Cheek

1 September 2020

The majority of legal workers experience a better work-life balance working from home, a new report looking at the impact of remote working on the industry has found.

More than half (52%) of employees across the UK law sector say working from home has improved their work-life balance for the better, while just over a quarter (26%) feel more motivated working remotely. More than half (53%) are being trusted to get on with their job and work independently without being “micromanaged”.

The study of 1,000 British office workers, including 100 in the legal sector, by tech company Culture Shift, further found that over a third (35%) feel more likely to experience bullying or harassment while in the workplace, compared to just 16% while working from home. A quarter (25%) receive passive-aggressive comments less often now they’re outside the office.

However, as law firms continue to make plans for their staff to return to the office, nearly half (44%) of those working in law are said to be “dreading going back to the workplace”.

Thirty-nine percent of legal professionals said working from home has had a negative impact on their mental health, with almost half (46%) saying they feel more isolated. Imposter syndrome and self-doubt are rife, with more than a quarter (27%) feeling these more so working from home than they did previously.

More than a third (35%) of employees in law said working from home has hampered their training and development.

Commenting on the findings, Gemma McCall, CEO and co-founder of Culture Shift, said: “Remote working has positively impacted employees for the most part and is something employers should absolutely be considering as they plan for the future — especially now the success of this approach has been clearly proven.”

She continued:

“While there are of course some key factors organisations need to work on, like continued commitment to training and development, employees’ wellbeing and progression, employers should be ensuring they have systems and tools in place to empower their teams to remain productive, creative and supported, even while they’re working from home.”

The research follows findings earlier this year that more than three quarters (77%) of legal workers believe the lockdown has shown that they can work effectively from home.

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