Ensuring Lawyer Wellbeing at Setfords | Consultant Solicitor

Wellbeing at Setfords

A recent survey by the Lawyers Division found that more than 93.5 per cent of 1,800 lawyers surveyed had experienced stress in the past month, while more than a third said workplace stress had affected their physical health.

The Setfords consultancy model ensures that lawyers are not subject to the pressures of set timings and set targets. However, the nature of work as a lawyer can be stressful, wherever they are. This is particularly true where a lawyer doesn’t have a strong support network. At Setfords the wellbeing of consultants lies at its heart. That is why the firm has a wellbeing team that is dedicated to ensure that their lawyers remain happy and healthy. Setfords Head of Wellbeing Marissa Ayres talks about why wellbeing in the workplace is so important and offers her top tips to maintain a healthy work life.

We’re here to provide our lawyers with resources to help them work in the way they want to, so they can achieve a great work-life balance and a greater sense of wellbeing.

Marissa Ayres, Head of Wellbeing

As Setfords has expanded and the number of consultants has increased, instead of seeing numbers on spreadsheets and physical headcounts, Setfords’ wellbeing team takes notice of each person that has chosen to become part of their organisation. Marissa says

We value that choice, and we will never take it for granted. Our new lawyers arrive with their own unique concerns, and we pride ourselves on addressing every one of them, this has always been our approach. It doesn’t matter how large we grow; we truly value every member within our network for the individual they are, for the person that exists behind the job title and the qualifications.

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Setfords wellbeing team have steps in place to ensure they are able to assist their lawyers with any issues they have or even to just brighten up their day. Marissa ensures that her team proactively contact consultants on a regular basis and find other ways to meet their needs.

We hope that by understanding why our consultants, clients and staff may be feeling stressed or overwhelmed, we can take the crucial steps to support them and their wellbeing. Our support comes in many formats; we build and nurture relationships, so we know who needs what and when. We go beyond that to try and combat their stress as early as possible and resolve any issues.

Each consultant is treated as an individual at Setfords. As new consultants join there is a process in place to facilitate their move and make it as easy as possible for them. Setfords wellbeing department is an essential part of that process.

As a team, we communicate daily with new joiners and sort everything they need to get up and running. It is really important that they know we are always there to talk them through any processes and introduce them to the wider team. We like to make them feel really welcome!

With regards to existing consultants we take the time to understand their ever-changing needs to determine how we can best look after them. This might be as simple as finding cover for their workload if they want to go on holiday, to introducing them to another consultant within our network who can help them with a question about a case.

We also have a wellbeing calendar that we ensure has all of the important milestone dates for each and every one of them, such as birthdays, work anniversaries and achievements that we feel should be acknowledged. Our aim is to be in constant communication with them, so they know where to go should they need anything.

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Setfords wellbeing department continuously develops their offering – providing training, speakers, webinars, podcasts and events. These opportunities allow consultants and staff to learn more about managing their work environment, supporting their mental health and developing their personal lives too.

We recently enjoyed a talk from Zenval, a Wellbeing and Coaching Company, based on the life experience of Great Britain Paralympic Canoeist Tim Lodge. Over the last 8 years, Tim has transformed his life from a successful 20-year career as a Sales Director in the Financial Markets to a High-Performance GB Paralympic Canoe Athlete.

Through this time, Tim has faced many challenges, both physically and mentally, which have enabled him to win medals and represent his country across the world. Being an athlete has given Tim clarity to learn and accept his disability and the challenges to his mental health and wellbeing. He is now using his unique life experiences to help people develop physically and mentally.

We’ve learnt lots of great tips on how to ensure you are optimising your health and wellbeing and will be sharing them with our lawyers in lots of different formats moving forward.

In the meantime, we have pulled together 5 tips to help your wellbeing as a consultant:

  • Make your workspace work for you

    This could be anything from having a simple plant on your desk or a comfy chair to make your workspace a better environment to spend your time. Simply removing some of the clutter, opening the curtains and adding some personal touches can really transform your office and allow you to work more productively.

  • Make time for what you love

    Making time to do what you love can help you ease your stress, lift your mood, and expand your social circle. It can help you manage chronic pain, and it may even improve your heart health, adding quality years to your life. Certain hormones are known to help promote positive feelings, including happiness. Spending time outside, laughing with friends, or even cooking a meal you enjoy has been proven to increase the production of serotonin and endorphins, which can have a significant impact on your mental health.

  • Step out when you need to

    Stepping away from your desk for a walk can aid in digestion, help you de-stress, burn a few calories, and it’s also essential for us to mentally cope with our day. It’s an opportunity to do something else and get the brain cells firing in a different direction, whether you go for a walk, chat with a neighbour or spend twenty minutes eating mindfully. Research shows that if we don’t have downtime during the day, we become irritable and less productive. Even ten minutes can make a difference.

  • Be realistic about what you can achieve

    To minimise stress, it is essential to ensure that you don’t set yourself unachievable goals. Setting timings and organising your workload through lists and reminders will create a more manageable workload and allow you to be more productive throughout your working day.

  • Have that holiday

    It is crucial to make sure that you are also setting time aside for yourself. Having short breaks away from your office is important for both your physical and mental health. Ensuring you get enough vitamin D can also help prevent other medical conditions, and who doesn’t love a holiday!

Wellbeing - Travel

Join us as a consultant! You won’t regret it. You really are in charge of your work-life balance. No targets, no pressure. We are here to support you and provide you with the service you need so that you can focus on delivering the best possible service to your clients.

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Lawyers who become consultants at Setfords earn more money, experience less office politics, and enjoy a better-work life balance. The next consultant could be you. So get in touch today and take the next step towards a happier life.

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