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Is being a lawyer bad for your health?

Posted by: Laurence Simons 02/09/15

Research has recently surfaced from Philip Gleed, of the UK’s University of Sussex, which reveals that senior lawyers who frequently fly and stay overseas in hotels face a number of health dangers. These include faster rates of ageing and an increased likelihood of suffering strokes and heart attacks.

But why is this? Well, partly because of greater exposure to germs, those travelling are more susceptible to falling ill. Additionally, an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis and a likelihood of failure to eat and drink adequately also explain why illness may be much easier to contract for frequent travellers.

But what can be done to tackle this problem and workplace sickness in general? Aside from it being individual organisations’ responsibility to ensure their people are not put in danger by their work, a bad health epidemic is also a serious drawback for any talent attraction strategy. One solution, which up to four in ten leading UK firms are adopting, is the practice of planting a doctor within the office. This ensures that anyone feeling unwell can be given a medical consultation on site.

Sounds good, but what other commodities are top law firms providing?

  • Two in ten provide dentists within the office
  • Over a third offer gym classes
  • 25% of the practices have a physiotherapist on site
  • 27% are frequented by beauty therapists
  • 15% enjoy the services of hairdressers

But with a high-stress sector nature that is widely renowned, and the legal sphere’s tendency to operate through antisocial hours, is this enough to coax the top talent in through your doors? Possibly not, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. It’s hardly practical to turn firms into hospitals and salons, but at least it shows a commitment from the firm to their employee’s health.

Would you consider working somewhere which offered no comprehensive health benefits?