Mental Health in Conveyancing

Bonita Wolfenden 15 March 2024

Conveyancing can often be a complex and stressful process. While the focus is naturally on the legal and financial aspects, the role of mental health in this process is often overlooked.

Bonita Wolfenden, Director and Head of Residential Conveyancing Operations at Wake Smith shares her personal experience of managing her own and the team’s wellbeing in the workplace.  

The demanding nature of the job, coupled with high workloads and tight deadlines, can take a toll on the well-being of conveyancers and support staff, and this has been highlighted more so during COVID and the recent stamp duty holiday. Burnout, stress, and fatigue are common risks within conveyancing which can potentially compromise the quality of service provided to clients and the health of the people that work in the industry.

Nurturing mental health within the residential conveyancing industry is not just a matter of good practice, but a responsibility to the staff that you manage. Being open and honest about mental health creates an environment of trust and understanding. My own personal experience with mental health allows me to adopt a compassionate and empathetic approach when working with staff also experiencing mental health issues. If we can establish a supportive environment where staff feel comfortable expressing their concerns this can help alleviate any worry, doubt or anxiety.  

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of mental health in the workplace across various industries. Historically, the legal profession has been characterised by long hours, intense pressure and a culture that often glorifies overworking. I was there myself a few years back, working 12 hours days and weekends; not spending time with my family. However, this took its toll on my mental and physical health. The toll this takes on mental health has become increasingly evident, prompting a shift towards a more compassionate and supportive workplace culture. Key initiatives during this change are the availability of mental health programs and resources for legal professionals. Law firms are investing in training sessions, workshops, and seminars to educate staff about mental health issues, stress management techniques and the important of selfcare.

Flexible working arrangements and remote work options have also been normalised allowing my team a greater autonomy over their schedules and promoting a healthier work live balance. Speaking from experience, I recognise the importance of downtime and relaxation.

By prioritising the mental health of my team over the past 12 months, we have created a more inclusive and supportive department which enhances their overall well-being and effectiveness. These are some of the things we do in our conveyancing department to encourage positive wellbeing: -

  1. We make sure that our staff take regular breaks, eat their lunch, and have time away from their desks.
  2. We support our staff by having regular one to ones which we promote out of the office, preferably on a walk or over a coffee.
  3. We make our staff feel valued and appreciated by recognising and celebrating their achievements.
  4. We provide our team with the best technology and resources so they can do their jobs to the best of their ability.
  5. We have an open and honest communication policy.



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