How Covid-19 impacted in-house lawyers personal wellness and work habits

Anxious, stressed and tired. According to the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)’s latest member flash poll,Covid-19 is having a considerable impact in in-house lawyers personal wellness and work habits. This is a crucial issue, as social distancing, teleworking, and the establishment of lockdowns across the globe have dramatically impacted the legal department.

The survey – which collected a total of 460 responses from June 3-8 –  found that more than 88% of respondents have been working from home and 53% of those same in-house lawyers indicated that they are logging more hours than they did when they were in the office. Among surveyed participants, only a combined three percent have either lost their jobs or been furloughed.

Respondents were asked whether they had experienced any wellness issues since the pandemic outbreak. Although less than half of them reported experienced any of the listed symptoms (from anxiety to depression), only 12.7 % reported not having had any wellness-related problems. One in two reported feeling tired or having trouble sleeping (49%), and at least 40 % admitted having experienced anxiety, felt nervous, and had trouble concentrating. 44% indicated their burnout level as moderate, the middle point on a five-point scale. 30% reported their burnout level to be high or very high and 26% indicated it to be on the lower end.

However, the bigger picture shows that 84.2 % felt positive towards work at their company. This positive feeling does not necessarily translate into being able to switch off completely from work-related matters. But, interestingly, despite this, 83% of respondents reported having also a positive overall emotional state: most rated their feelings in the middle as “somewhat good,” while 29% said they felt “very good” and 6% were in an “extremely good” emotional state.