What does it look like when I know, for example, that I get more work done in less time than the folks on my team who get celebrated for working so hard and so many hours? It looks like a massive cultural shift across an entire industry, one that is probably a long time coming.
But, should that mean that eDiscovery companies need to be on call to assist with anything beyond an emergency during those late hour sessions? I’m not sure what the answer is, but I know the expectation will definitely be that support is available, which creates a problem for vendors, notably they owe their employees some work-life balance as well. If I’m a project manager on this review, I shouldn’t be expected to be available for all of the variations of work schedules that will exist among a team of lawyers. Thankfully, this is something our industry has started to move away from, but truly moving away from it means hiring more staff to cover those odd hours.
In the absence of that staff being on board though, we are all risking massive turnover if we expect to have 24×7 coverage for these projects.
Is it worth it to set that expectation? Or should we consider something else?
I think the headline really speaks for the entire article. We can get all the self-care tips in the world, do yoga on the regular, eat well, and everything else, but if we work in a place that regularly requires 60 hour work weeks, ridiculous deadlines, and doesn’t really give us some control over work that we enjoy, that’s still going to be a recipe for burnout.
If you have any employees that report to you, go read the article and consider what it is that you are doing with your own workplace. Are they headed for burnout? Do you care enough to make changes to avoid that? Or is that “just the way it is” in your industry? If it is, ask yourself why it’s that way? Is there actually a legitimate reason for it? Or are you just so engrained in it that you can’t imagine rethinking the way your industry works?
The reason that I say this is because not a day goes by that I don’t hear someone talking about “getting back” to onsite visits with clients, and doing training, or even CLEs in person again, without taking a moment to consider whether that is even feasible for the client.
For example, on the training side, yes many folks miss the in-person workshops or training classes that a software or legal tech company would provide, but how many of us in that space have considered how difficult/expensive it might be for the client to gather their people into one location for that time?
It’s all those little unknown things that make us anxious when traveling, and the more anxiety that is built into the process, the less we enjoy it, and the more exhausting it is. I think that is an important lesson for airlines, but it’s also an important lesson for many people in a variety of service industries. Needing a lawyer, working with an accountant, etc. have always been things that most of us aren’t used to navigating, so there’s anxiety involved. Now, simple things like getting a haircut have become more complicated, and involve a lot more anxiety. Employees are also navigating things that they are not used to, maybe working from home, or working onsite but having to navigate all of these new safety protocols, and dealing with customers who are also dealing with all of their own anxieties all day.
The interview below is about the technology industry, but I do believe it applies to a wide range of industries, especially the legal profession. With the women you do have, are you investing in them, not only to stay, but get promoted in your company? There are many jobs available in the technology market right…