Lockdown and Mental Health

Posted in Blog on 16 Mar 2021

Back to the office but 1 in 4 Lawyers Mental Health negatively affected by Lockdown

With many in the legal profession returning to the office environment and hopefully the worst of the pandemic behind us, research carried out by Douglas Scott Legal Recruitment has revealed that for the majority home working was a positive or neutral experience, but over 1 in 4 Solicitors believe home working during the recent lockdowns has had a negative impact on their mental health.

The data suggests that 90% of all lawyers worked from home during the recent lockdowns, and 28% believed the experience had a negative impact on their mental health with 37% stating their mental health improved. 47% of legal professionals negatively affected did not believe they received adequate levels of support from their employers when they home worked.  

  • Legal professionals employed in Corporate Law departments were most likely to believe that the experience had a negative impact on their mental health
  • 28% of female lawyers believed home working had a negative impact on their mental health compared to 29% of male lawyers. 
  • A third of Junior Lawyers believed their mental health was adversely affected by home working compared to a quarter of Senior Solicitors.
  • 29% of Partners and Business Leaders believed home working had a negative effect on their mental health, 50% of female Partners stated the experience was positive compared to 31% of male partners
  • . 24% of In-House Lawyers believed working from home had a negative impact on their mental health compared to 76% for who the experience was positive or neutral.

Although 9 out of 10 lawyers home worked during the recent Coronavirus pandemic, those employed in Criminal Law, Property and General Practice were the least likely to have incorporated some element of home working into their day to day.

Jonathan Nolan, Associate Director at Douglas Scott Legal Recruitment, said: “Law firms should be commended for enabling home working for 90% of legal professionals with very little notice and for the majority the experience has been positive or neutral at worst. However, a significant number have had a negative experience, and maybe employers can change that story by switching up the levels of support provided.”

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