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As a proudly human-focused law firm, Burch&Co’s focus is on its individual employees, putting people before work outputs. We place an emphasis on our employees’ mental health and physical wellbeing, recognising that without a strong personal foundation, our team can’t perform at their best.
The Burch&Co Difference
When Nich founded the firm, he saw a high prevalence of mental health issues in the profession. With 52% of lawyers reporting high stress, burnout and difficulty disconnecting from work, Nich made it his mission to create a more positive and personal work environment that fostered its lawyers’ passion rather than creating stress.
Recognising the risk of mental health challenges in this demanding professional environment, the wellbeing of his employees is a top priority for Nich.
To reflect his ambitions, Nich implemented a number of strategies to help its team members manage stress, continuing to adapt these measures as the firm has grown.
“Being a lawyer is competitive and challenging, and there is often no recognition of the hours of work that you put in. We genuinely care about the mental wellbeing of our employees, and aim to prioritise their wellbeing and work-life balance as our core purpose.”
At the core of the firm’s flexible working policy is the ability to work from home, with one mandated in-office day to encourage team cohesion and engagement, and its 9-day fortnight, which allows full-time employees to enjoy one weekday off per fortnight.
Other benefits available to Burch&Co employees include regular performance psychology sessions, access to Australia’s first ‘brain health’ space with NeuroPOD technology, ‘bonus’ leave entitlements, and access to Headspace guided meditation subscriptions.
Employees also have access to a full range of facilities in the collaborative co-working office, including an indoor basketball court, regular pilates and yoga classes, and a golf simulator, all designed to help employees unwind and stay active throughout their work day.
The performance psychology sessions, delivered by psychologist, Ed Barlow, are tailored to the team to equip employees with a framework to support responses to stressful stimuli.
When asked about his observations on the sessions he conducted, Dr Barlow commented, “This is such an engaged group. There’s a strong base level of trust and they genuinely enjoy each other’s company.”
The team has noted marked improvement in their workplace environment following recent sessions, finding that candid conversations about mental health have helped to recalibrate ways of working, at an individual level and in collaborative environments.
New starters are empowered by the ‘Burch&Co way’ of going about their work, sharing the load, where needed, to ensure all employees feel supported.
Nich notes that lawyers can often spend long hours isolated and immersed in complex case-work, likening the elite professionals’ mindset to that of high-performance athletes.
“Lawyers are usually competitive by nature and are their own harshest critics… if not kept in check, that self-criticism can grow into some very unhelpful and negative self-talk – our performance psychology sessions bring the same techniques that elite athletes use to protect their headspace.”
Burch&Co’s supportive environment has been a key factor in the firm’s successful transition through rapid growth, fostering individual enjoyment, engagement and elevated performance across the team.
The firm promotes a holistic approach to employee wellbeing, integrating mental and physical elements into the benefits available to employees.
Employees are encouraged to engage with the Central House (coworking space) community and enjoy its fitness and meditation classes; access to leisure facilities, regular community breakfasts and lunches, and monthly celebrations.