73% of lawyers avoid jobs with “toxic” work culture

73% of lawyers avoid jobs with “toxic” work culture

New research from Culture Shift has found that 73% of legal workers would accepting a job with a firm that has a “toxic” work culture, compared with just 57% of those in the banking industry.

41% of those in the legal industry also would not apply for a firm with poor online reviews, 49% would leave a negative review to deter applicants from joining a firm with a poor working culture, and 55% have left a job due to work culture.

Worryingly, 41% of those within the industry have witnessed bullying, discrimination or harassment at work. More reassuringly, 62% of consumers would not use a firm with a reputation for treating its employees badly.

Gemma McCall, chief executive of Culture Shift, said:

“The true impact toxic workplace culture has on an organisation really shouldn’t be underestimated. From influencing future applicants and investors, to affecting the lives of those experiencing and witnessing bullying, problematic behaviour in the workplace often has a lasting impact on both an organisation and its people.

The only way organisations can reduce this risk is to commit to eradicating problematic behaviour in the workplace by putting culture at the top of their agenda. There will never be a one-size-fits-all approach for all organisations to adhere to, however there are steps which all leaders can put in place to ensure they’re protecting their culture.”

This comes as LawCare recently celebrated 25 years of mental health support within the legal industry. Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said:

“The legal profession has always been particularly at risk of mental health challenges, with distinct burnout risks posed by the nature of the work lawyers handle.

It is true that the tide has turned compared to 25 years ago, but there is still work to be done.

To date, LawCare has helped 10,000 legal professionals find support with their mental ill-health or wellbeing.

They have a helpline, live online chat and email. There are 90 peer-supporters who currently work or have worked in the legal profession.

I urge our members to make use of the services provided by LawCare. It’s free, confidential and offers emotional support to legal professionals working in the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

With charities such as LawCare on hand to support the profession, I hope that we can continue to address these issues so colleagues can have a rewarding career and a supportive workplace.”

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Jamie Lennox

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