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Preventing Worker Burnout

Preventing Attorney Burnout

Lawyers are notoriously known for putting in long hours at the office, whether it be overtime, weekend hours, or simply overall hard work. Lately, companies and firms are starting to see that worker burnout from putting in so many long hours without a break can be detrimental to the employee and the work he or she does.

In order to combat employees being over-worked, Volkswagen started turning off employee’s emails 30 minutes after their shift is over to ensure they are not checking emails after hours. BMW plans on implementing a new rule that will keep workers from being contacted after their shift is over. Also, Goldman Sachs urges its junior staff members to take weekends off.

This implementation of ending work outside of the normal work hours has been in increasing demand, especially because of technology. The explosion of smartphones, tablets and constant access to the internet has allowed bosses to place a greater demand on employees because they can be in constant contact with them. However, employees work better if they are able to escape work for some time. Cary Cooper, a professor of organizational psychology and health at Lancaster University, says the need to be constantly in contact has taken a toll on workers. Cooper finds that, “Employees are turning up, but they are not delivering anything.”

Physical presence has become replaced by the next best thing— a virtual presence. Since the recession, employees fear they may lose their jobs, and as a result, they have been overworking themselves.

A New York based start-up company has implemented a “blackout” week once every quarter, where no one except customer service representatives are allowed to work. This option for employees may seem extreme, especially for an ever busy law firm. However, industry focus on preventing worker burnout is becoming more prevalent.

How do you think law firms should prevent workers from over working themselves?  What other ways could law firms improve their workers’ experience and job performance?

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