In an article published on 7/25, our Managing Partner, Jim Prichard, and Chief Operating Officer, Heather Oden, are quoted in the cover story regarding the firm’s approach to mental health, wellness, and the shifting work dynamics. The legal profession has long seen alarming rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse and currently sits at a crossroads in a post-COVID pandemic world. The prioritization of mental health and wellness cannot afford to be overlooked if firms want to have a healthy and productive team.
“If there is a positive that came out of COVID, the past two years increased our focus on mental health,” says Heather. “It was important to us to implement actionable tactics to create an environment that promotes sustained well-being.”
This increased focus on mental health has seen many law firms across the United States make more significant commitments toward health and wellness. The firm worked with LRS Architects to redesign their Portland, Oregon headquarters to be a more inclusive, equitable, and collaborative work environment with an additional change to close the office during Thanksgiving week and other holidays to encourage people to step away from work.
“With the help of our people, we recognized and identified the need for a revised work environment that centers around both productivity and our mental and physical health,” says Jim. “We instituted a new task force to focus on planning initiatives such as on-demand mental health support, flextime, regular employee check-ins and fitness memberships.”
Trends in law firm well-being initiatives center around personalized offerings, respites, rejection of the 24/7 mentality, resilience training, establishing well—being policies, and building a culture of trust.
“My advice is to create a company culture where talking about wellness and mental health is commonplace,” says Heather. “Create opportunities where employees can give open and honest feedback and let that feed decision-making.”
To read the story in full, click here.