Year-End Burnout

I’m very aware that the conclusion of any period is when we very often must work hardest to ensure we achieve our goals. Throw into the mix the personal and professional pressures of getting everything finished by a terminal deadline like the festive period, pushes people to their limits. Likening the end of year big push to the final stages of a marathon, (which I am only too aware of with my training for the London Marathon), means in the final stages of the race we are experiencing some levels of fatigue and can become solely focused on getting the race done! 

Operating in a state of fatigue and having your team focused on just finishing the task is not conducive to people being happy and fulfilled, you certainly won’t be getting the best from yourself or your team. The merits of feeling in control and match fit, to coin a sporting phrase, means there’s less chance of dropping the ball. A workforce of tired and burnt out colleagues will come with many issues.

A report published by Indeed  found that employee burnout is on the rise. 52% of all workers are feeling burnt out, up +9% from a pre-COVID survey. Employees of all ages and types are experiencing the impact of stress, fatigue, and mental health challenges.

Legal Gaps

Taking stock of your company’s organogram, such as looking at the conclusion of 2022 and the events and considerations for 2023 will often highlight where gaps may appear in your organisation. Planning and acting proactively to ensure you are not without the necessary expertise or a skills gap will save you time and money in the long run.  The obvious resource requirements to fill gaps due to staff movement such as paternity leave can be relatively easy to spot,  and relatively straightforward to plan  for, but in my experience, can be time consuming as its hard to find lawyers with the industry expertise at the right level.   This means taking the time to ensure you have specialist support to join a project or support you during a business transformation, which affects your department needs to be actioned well in advance,  and so taking stock of what you believe is needed to close out 2022,  and in 2023 (taking into account the wider business strategy) is crucial to ensuring your team is fit to meet those demands as they unfold.

Unforeseen Challenges and Skill Gaps

The best laid plans can be scuppered through no fault of an individual or lack of preparation by a team. Unforeseen changes can have an immediate effect on a business, impacted by another department not communicating a change of plan or personnel having to take leave without prior notice. When this happens, where do you turn?  Do you have an immediate resoure you can tap into at the end of the phone to remedy the situation and provide an appropriate level of support from industry experts at the right level to cover such a crisis? 

Planning for the Year Ahead

Following on from my first two points around managing and ideally preventing burnout and ensuring you are not without skills and resources in any areas of your business, this all comes down to planning. Not only for the last quarter of the year but also for 2023. Inevitably, we cannot plan for every scenario, but we can plan what we can see in front of us. Learning from the historical trading history in our business for anything from a scale up with some history to a global re-organisation that can look at insights and data from previous years, and of course attending leadership team meetings where business strategy for 2023 is being discussed  gives us the power to make informed decisions regarding our specific areas of responsibility, and plan for next year.

Many companies work very hard towards a year end, culminating in a period of Christmas parties and proposed downtimes in December,  when the focus switches from planning to deadlines, and often means an increased influx of work pushed towards the legal team as budgets need to be used up, and projects closed before the annual shutdown period and finance team spending shut off!   Use the period of September to ensure everything possible has been done to plan and maximise Q4 and kick off 2023 in the most productive fashion.

Life Science Law provides interim and project based legal and compliance support from industry expertise on demand!

We are a  team of lawyers and compliance professionals with industry expertise which can be ramped up or down as demand fluctuates.   We enable in-house legal teams to sustain departmental excellence during uncertain headcount and workload challenges; and organisations who do not have an in-house team with a fully outsourced legal and compliance team on a full or part time basis as and when needed.

Please feel free to reach out in whatever capacity to share your thoughts or set up a call to discuss any of the points I’ve raised. We’ve helped many companies plan in advance for changes to their legal and compliance teams or when unforeseen change has occurred leaving the business without a suitable level of legal resource.