Lander & Rogers encourages wellness days, long weekends

The initiatives emphasise the firm’s commitment to wellbeing in light of World Mental Health Day

Lander & Rogers encourages wellness days, long weekends

Lander & Rogers has implemented initiatives like annual wellness days and long weekends to highlight its commitment to staff mental health and wellbeing, particularly in light of World Mental Health Day this month.

The firm-wide initiatives introduced over the past two months are structured around five wellness pillars of mental fitness: community and belonging; purpose, meaning and transparency; hybrid health; and physical health.

Lander & Rogers began implementing annual wellness days for all employees in August. Staff can take this additional day of leave at their convenience for the purposes of rest, relaxation and other health-related activities.

The firm also launched its three long weekends initiative this month to address the issue of employees not taking extended leaves of late.

“Our data shows that many of our people are not taking extended breaks due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, with the historical long-term average annual leave balance for Q3 (July to Sept) growing from three weeks (pre-COVID-19) to four weeks (current state),” CEO Genevieve Collins told Australasian Lawyer. “Accordingly, starting in October and running through to December this year, we’ve given all of our people an additional three days of paid leave (one day for each of the next three months, in addition to normal entitlements and the annual wellness day) to use to have three extra-long weekends before the end of the year.”

The initiative recognises staff members’ dedication and Lander & Rogers’ strong showing over the past two years, Collins explained.

To cater to working parents, the firm also introduced a two-week virtual school holiday program last month. Parents were given access to a schedule of activities to partake in with their school-aged children during the school holidays.

Program activities included 50-minute karate lessons, cooking classes, performance arts and crafts making sessions. The sessions took place at different times on each day, allowing for quality family time and rest.

Last month, Lander & Rogers also reintroduced its “thank you” program, which is designed to boost recognition in a variety of areas and the expression of gratitude to colleagues through virtual thank-you cards.

“The focus on recognition and gratitude is an important part of creating a psychologically safe and productive work environment that promotes openness and collaboration,” Collins explained.

Moreover, the firm implemented a public holiday swap initiative in respect of staff’s religious and cultural belief. The initiative allows employees to apply their holiday-related days off to other days of significance that are in alignment with their beliefs and traditions.

Other initiatives implemented by the firm are wellbeing events conducted with expert speakers on topics like connection, mental health in lockdown and positive parenting. The firm also regularly conducts pulse surveys with staff to monitor their mental health, particularly during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Collins told Australasian Lawyer that initiatives promoting mental health are vital especially to the legal profession, and that events like World Mental Health Day are important reminders of the value of taking care of oneself.

“Days like World Mental Health Day and RU OK? Day are critical in reducing stigma and normalising conversations about mental health and wellbeing. They remind us about the importance of self-care, and of the many initiatives and simple activities available to promote mental health,” Collins said.

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