Following the SRA’s guidance on the new wellbeing at work rules and, in particular the expectations on firms to support their employees, at ntitle, we have considered how our service can support the wellbeing of lawyers.
We recently attended a webinar hosted by Legal News Wales, where the SRA rules and its new Wellbeing guidelines were discussed by key individuals from the legal industry. Advice was given and ideas were introduced to help law firms adapt to ensure they remain compliant and to help them promote wellbeing within their environment.
The SRA guidance lists its expectations on law firms and states that employers ‘should do everything they reasonably can to look after the wellbeing of those who work in and with the firm’.
This includes an obligation on the firm to implement ‘effective systems and controls’ and to ‘provide a safe environment’. It has now been recognised that it is the firm’s responsibility to provide appropriate support to manage stress.
It is essential that law firm leaders are aware of the culture within their own firm and they need to be aware of how they can create a positive culture of trust and support. Support is specifically important in conveyancing as the industry is known for being a high pressured, fast paced and a stressful industry area to work.
By reviewing processes and being open to the implementation of new systems and operations, conveyancing firm leaders can prove their commitment to looking after the wellbeing of their conveyancers and wider team.
The use of outsourcing services can be integrated into business models and procedures, reducing stress experienced by conveyancers without compromising expertise or reducing capacities and profit.
There are several ways in which outsourcing aspects of the conveyancing process can promote the wellbeing of conveyancers:
Work/ life balance
It is well known across the industry that conveyancers work many hours often just to stay in control of their workload. Working evenings and weekends can become standard practice in many law firms and leads to resentment, additional stress on other aspects of the conveyancer’s life, burnout, isolation, and anxiety.
Clients of conveyancers often experience stress due to the nature of the transaction and the financial implications and therefore require care and attention. By outsourcing elements, the conveyancer can give their clients the attention they deserve and in return the client will be satisfied with the experience they are receiving.
By using a recognised outsourcing service, the quality of the work produced is not compromised in any way. Many outsourcing services will work with highly qualified and experienced lawyers who have extensive knowledge in a niche area of law. This gives the conveyancer reassurance and is often more beneficial than having a less experienced assistant undertake tasks which are above their level, causing the conveyancer additional stress and time in amending work at a later stage.
It is now widely recognised that stress in the workplace is detrimental to business. Prolonged or chronic stress can contribute to various physical health issues leading to increased absenteeism and turnover. High levels of stress can hamper productivity, lead to reduced efficiency, decreased motivation and cause low levels of job satisfaction.
A workplace characterised by stress can contribute to a negative organisation culture and low morale. This can in turn develop into a lack of trust in leadership and a diminished sense of loyalty towards the firm.
As explained by the SRA, it is essential for organisations to prioritise welling within their environment and to create a supportive environment that helps to manage stress effectively. Looking into outsourcing options and incorporating them into business models can not only reduce stress levels drastically but encourage a firm wide culture of support and allowing those within the organisation to trust that the leaders have their best interests in mind.
At ntitle, we are proud to offer support to busy conveyancers with our outsourced title investigation service. We have received reports that stress levels have been reduced as a result of the conveyancer having more time during their working day to progress the transaction. Our 48 hour SLA ensures the transaction isn’t hindered by a bottle neck of title investigations and the conveyancer is able to keep the client updated and informed – and, conveyancers get their weekends back!