22 February 2021

Burnout in your law firm? Discover the myths about it


Exhaustion at work and stress are among the main causes of burnout, a disease recognised by the World Health Organisation in 2019

Apart from these, there are many reasons that lead to burnout in many professionals, especially in the legal profession, which is a sector that generates a lot of stress. In addition to knowing the causes, it is also important to know the myths or false beliefs that are generated around burnout:

Burnout is generated on a personal level

The "burnout syndrome" is not always generated by the worker him/herself. It is not always only the problem of the individual concerned. Often burnout arises because of a bad organisational culture, work saturation, stress generated within the firm

There are many reasons why a worker can end up burned out through no fault of their own. 

On the other hand, there is a lot of advice and many strategies that try to eliminate burnout in workers. But not all of them work. The organisation has to make an effort to prevent a worker from suffering from burnout. The organisation itself has to get involved in the fight against burnout by helping its employees.

The problem arises when firms consider that workers get burnt out because of individual causes when, perhaps, the cause is due to a collective aspect or is attributable to the organisation itself. 

This is why it is important to implement strategies to prevent burnout in employees.

Burnout appears in workers who do not know how to handle difficult situations

Workers who suffer from burnout are usually considered to be those who are not mentally strong, or who are very sensitive and inexperienced in carrying a lot of responsibility.

In fact, the opposite is true. Those who suffer most from burnout are workers who are overworked, with responsibilities and positions of importance. Those workers who, because of their job, are demanded much more than the rest of the employees. 

A study in the UK shows that the mental health of 20% of top performers has been affected by burnout

These professionals have to work longer hours than other colleagues and often have less time to switch off from work. More demands are placed on them and the economic viability of the firm depends to a large extent on their work and decisions. 

And it is normal for them to end up burned out because of their work.

Burnout won't be eliminated by a simple holiday

In the vast majority of cases, workers suffering from burnout take a few days off thinking that their burnout problems will disappear, but when they return to work they are still trapped in the same mental exhaustion problems

It is therefore important to know the cause or causes that generate burnout in the worker. It is important to know all the tasks performed on a daily basis and the feelings of the professional. Once everything is known about it, appropriate measures can be taken to prevent burnout from recurring (workload can be reduced, new colleagues can be hired, work habits can be changed).

There are many different measures that can be taken, but these need to be personalised and tailored to the individual professional

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