08 April 2021

How to avoid work overload in a law firm?


Work overload within law firms is a reality that many already assimilate and carry on their backs

Overload is also caused by workers' fear that their bosses think they are not really productive, and this thinking has increased among workers due to remote teleworking from home. In fact, a report by Achievers found that 51% of workers surveyed were concerned about the latter.

In recent years, both employees and team managers have become more aware of the negative effects caused by overload and are trying to reduce the burden and distribute it in a way that increases the productivity of lawyers.

Remote working, as mentioned above, is also a factor that can destabilise the appropriate distribution of work.

Managers need to know their employees better, both from a professional point of view (the work they do, the contacts they use on a daily basis, the way they work) and from a more personal point of view (their life aspirations, hobbies, their motivations). 

Once a manager knows his employees perfectly, he is able to analyse which of them are capable of handling a certain number of tasks at the same time. The idea is to be able to cope with many tasks in a single day, but much more important is not to wear workers down, as this can be a determining factor in the firm's viability in the long run

Team managers need to be able to meet and evaluate their employees on a regular basis so that they send them a certain number of suitable tasks.

Another useful tip is for managers to clearly explain the expectations of the management team for each of the proposed objectives. Through this notion, employees will work more focused and be aware of the progress made.

Behaviour is also very important. Team leaders often set the pace of work, as well as the working hours. Particularly in the legal sector, lawyers do not think it is a good idea to leave the office before their bosses. This can be detrimental to the team. 

In an effort to reduce stress and work overload, a manager can set a shorter and more productive work schedule for his or her team of lawyers. He or she can set fixed working hours where he or she can log on to a platform and thus perfectly inform his or her employees of the actual time they have to work. Managers need to set an example.

On the employees' side, they can strive to have an active and regular conversation with their boss, so that they can talk about expectations, ask for advice or even show constructive feedback.

Employees can also help other co-workers who are overwhelmed with tasks, preferably by mediating together with managers, so that they are informed about everything that is going on within the work team. 

Therefore, it is crucial to realise that reducing work overload requires active collaboration between managers and employees themselves.

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